Though Montana is the fourth largest state in square miles, its population of 1 million is about the same as Rhode Island’s. While the immediate benefit of a health information exchange—faster and more complete data flying among providers--is obvious for such a far-flung population, the state has its eye on even bigger things.

HealthShare Montana, the state health information exchange, expects to have almost 30 organizations interfaced to its system by June, and may eventually carry information on almost everyone in the state. At HIMSS, Executive Director Brad Putnam will talk not only about the logistics of that task, but about what HealthShare Montana is planning to do with the data besides expediting its exchange.

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