Each of the 21 hospitals within HealtheConnections’ 11-county region participates in health information exchange (HIE) as data contributors and users. Patient medical records flow in real time between participating organizations for all authorized users to access while caring for their patients. Providers and other authorized staff within each hospital department take advantage of HealtheConnections’ services to improve the quality of care they provide to their patients, whether in emergency or ambulatory care areas.
Mary Garcia a 75 year old female retired Air Force Veteran who lives at home with her husband who calls 911 when Mary falls in the kitchen. Upon arrival of Emergency Services, Mary is evaluated and transported to the local hospital for a suspected femur fracture. Upon arrival at the Emergency Department, Mary is triaged by the nursing staff where she answers questions pertaining to her medical history but is unsure of all of her current medications. She is then sent to the radiology department where an x-ray shows a mid-shaft femur fracture that will require surgery as well as indications of a prior hip transplant. Mary is transferred up to the orthopedic floor to prepare for surgery. Following her surgery she is transferred to a long term care facility for rehabilitation care.
How HealtheConnections Services Can Help
Using Patient Lookup, both the EMS providers as well as the Emergency Department staff were able to have a more complete picture of Mary’s health history ensuring that they did not give any medications that contraindicated her current prescriptions. The radiologist, upon reviewing the x-ray, notes a prior hip transplant and is able to look into the HIE to see the images from Mary’s surgery last year at the VA via HealtheConnections’ VA Gateway interface. He is then able to share this via Direct Mail with the attending orthopedist with his findings for recommended treatment and follow-up care. During pre-surgery evaluation, the anesthesiologist is able to review Mary’s allergies and notes an allergy that requires a change to the anesthetic to use. Following surgery, as Mary recovers, her care coordinator is able to send Mary’s transfer and discharge paperwork over to the rehabilitation facility as well as to her primary care provider via Direct Mail prior to her transfer to the rehabilitation facility.
For these types of healthcare providers, the HealtheConnections features most often used by others in this field are:
- Patient Lookup
- Comprehensive patient records show a patient’s medical history, which can prevent duplicate imaging, testing and laboratory work
- Save time and money in Medical Records department as Inpatient records are immediately available to primary care physicians for post-visit follow up care
- Emergency Department providers can access patient records – including medications, allergies, and other vital information – in an emergency when their patients may not be able to speak for themselves
- Direct Mail
- A secure email system makes it quick and easy for providers in different hospital departments to discuss patient information electronically while maintaining HIPAA compliance
- Query-Based Exchange
- Providers can access state and federal systems and other external partners to view patient health data