Informational program about HealthInfoNet scheduled for Mar. 15
Mount Desert Island Hospital will join Maine’s electronic health information exchange, HealthInfoNet, on Mar. 19, 2012, becoming the twenty-third hospital to sign on to the network.
HealthInfoNet is a statewide computer system that helps caregivers provide better care by combining information from all participating caregivers into a single electronic record. “This enables better coordination of care because patients don’t always remember or carry with them their health history,” said JR Krevans, MD, MDI Hospital’s Emergency Department medical director. “HealthInfoNet provides an accurate report of what has happened here and elsewhere.”
The HealthInfoNet record includes information such as medications, allergies, previous diagnosis, lab results and imaging reports that is compiled from all participating providers. Having previous lab and imaging results available may also help reduce duplication of those tests or may provide reference points for caregivers to monitor trends or changes. “The ability to look back and get information from previous tests is valuable,” Dr. Krevans said.
By utilizing dedicated, secure data links between participating organizations, HealthInfoNet compiles patient information into a standardized report that is quickly accessible to caregivers. The system utilizes the latest available data security technology and records are continuously monitored and audited to ensure records are private.
Participation in the system is voluntary and patients can choose not to participate. Since the network came online in 2008, approximately one percent of patients have chosen to opt out. At MDI Hospital, patients will find informational posters and displays at points of registration and will be provided with opt-out information at check in. MDI Hospital will also host an informational program about HealthInfoNet on Thursday, Mar. 15 at 5:30 pm in the hospital cafeteria.
HealthInfoNet is an independent, Maine-based, non-profit organization that was created to interconnect patient information to improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery in Maine. Patients can learn more about the network and opt-out online if they choose at www.hinfonet.org/optout.
Health information exchanges like HealthInfoNet are being built in states and regions across the country and are widely viewed as central to supporting lasting improvements in our nation’s health care system. The use of these systems can reduce medical mistakes, improve care coordination, provide better patient outcomes, and lower overall health care costs.
For more information about HealthInfoNet, visit www.hinfonet.org.