Scripps Health and Sharp Healthcare are joining San Diego Health Connect, a substantial boost for the region’s health information exchange that soon will give clinicians authorized access to medical data covering 2.7 million county residents.

San Diego Health Connect, funded with $15.3 million in HITECH Act dollars in April 2010, started as San Diego Beacon Community, one of 17 such communities across the nation charged with accelerating use of health information technologies and disseminating lessons learned across the industry. The main technology investment in San Diego was development of the HIE under the charge of strengthening the local health IT infrastructure and implementing new approaches to produce measurable improvements in the cost and quality of care, according to the organization’s web site.

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