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TMCNet:  New Survey Shows Health Information Exchanges Growing in Pennsylvania

[January 16, 2013]

New Survey Shows Health Information Exchanges Growing in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority has released a new survey that shows health information exchanges (HIEs) have enhanced the ability of healthcare providers to securely share patient data electronically.

The survey of 11 HIEs posed in-depth questions about their operations and technology; communications, outreach and research; and finances.

Key findings include: -- All the responding HIEs have or plan to have the ability for their participants to communicate with one another and share discharge summaries by the end of 2013.

-- Two HIEs intend to operate statewide, while nine intend to operate regionally.

-- Every type of healthcare provider type addressed in the survey will have some level of access to data from at least three HIEs by the end of 2014.

-- The majority of the responding HIEs have a sustainability plan, which uses a combination of hospital provider fees, payer fees and professional practice fees.

The Authority conducted the survey to understand the current operating environment for HIEs in Pennsylvania and update information from an earlier survey completed in October 2011.

"HIEs in Pennsylvania continue to enhance their technical capabilities, allowing healthcare providers to more easily share patient information with others in the same HIE," said Alix Goss, interim state Health IT coordinator and program director for the Authority. "The survey responses validate the Authority's strategic approach to focus on facilitating the sharing of information across the various HIEs operating in the state, which will further enhance the ability to provide more efficient and improved healthcare for patients." Health information exchange is the electronic movement of health-related information among unaffiliated organizations according to nationally recognized standards. Pennsylvania was awarded $17.1 million, with match requirements, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help establish a health information exchange.

The PA eHealth Partnership Authority, created by Act 121, is working to meet federal requirements and enable the use of information technology to advance HIE, which has been shown to improve healthcare quality and efficiency, ensure patient safety and provide secure, confidential access to health information for making the best possible health decisions.

For more information, visit the PA eHealth Partnership Authority website at www.paehealth.com. The full survey is available under General Info & Resources.

Media contact: Dan Egan, 717-772-4237 SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Administration

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