Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the states health information exchange, and South Carolinas Health Information Exchange (SCHIEx) have announced the successful launch of the connection between the two statewide networks.
"As one of the first state-to-state health information exchange connections in the nation, the partnership will help facilitate the seamless and secure exchange of patient health information across state borders among hospitals, physicians and clinicians located in Georgia and South Carolina," GaHIN executives said.
GaHIN and SCHIEx created interstate connectivity via support from their technology partners Truven Health Analytics and CareEvolution. The networks leverage a federated exchange architecture that does not necessitate the creation of new data warehouses or a single data location, but rather allows data to remain with the original providers and facilities. The networks also allow remote access to electronic health records, and GaHIN executives said the connectivity helps achieve Meaningful Use for providers located in both states.
"The exchange of patient-specific medical information between the two states supports the natural migration of residents between large cities, such as Atlanta and Columbia; tourism to popular vacation destinations; as well as patients traveling from one state to the other for specialty care, such as pediatrics or oncology," they said. "This new access to medical history and pertinent patient information from the neighboring states can help improve care quality and save time by providing critical information at the point of care during non-urgent and emergency situations."
The potential impact of this connection, if all constituents of both states were to enter the system, could include the health records of approximately 14.8 million people, based on 2013 United Census population statistics for Georgia and South Carolina.
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