Baylor College of Medicine has joined Greater Houston Healthconnect, the regional health information exchange for the Houston area.

Baylor, which utilizes the Epic electronic health records system, will utilize Healthconnect’s Direct Messaging services to securely communicate via HIPAA-compliant email with patients regarding test results, referral information and follow-up care instructions.

“The Baylor faculty are committed to advancing standards of patient care utilizing all available and emerging technologies to accomplish that goal," said Jeffrey Steinbauer, M.D., the college's CMIO. "The use of Direct Messaging to securely transmit clinical information to referring physicians and patients themselves represents just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the way we envision integrating health information technologies into our practice and instruction in the near future. We intend to prepare future generations of physicians who will emerge better able to practice medicine in an new era of smart information technology.”

Healthconnect was founded in 2010 to serve as a neutral convener of patient records among the more than 130 hospitals and 16,000 physicians practicing in southeast Texas. At the time Baylor joined the exchange, Healthconnect had connected 906,771 patient records through its federated model of health information exchange.

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