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Survey shows health information organizations in Pennsylvania will send patients' discharge instructions, lab results to primary care physicians

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SOURCE Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A survey conducted by the Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority shows that all health information organizations (HIO) in the state will be able to electronically send patients' discharge instructions and lab results to their primary care physicians.

That's one of the key findings of the third annual survey of 11 HIOs, which the Authority conducted to better understand the current operating environment for HIOs in Pennsylvania. The survey poses in-depth questions about HIO operations and technology; communications, outreach and research; and finances.

"After patients are discharged from the hospital, their primary care physicians need to know what kind of follow-up treatment is needed," said Alix Goss, Executive Director of the Authority. "Our survey indicates HIOs can support the electronic delivery of this health information, and they are committed to creating a statewide electronic health information exchange (eHIE) network. Information available at a doctor's fingertips means patients will have more efficient, improved healthcare."

Key findings from the survey include:

  • HIOs support the electronic exchange of a patient's discharge instructions and secure messaging between providers. Other functions HIOs adopted include keeping track of medical records from multiple providers and ordering and delivering lab tests and results.
  • Two methods of exchange are more popular:
    • Pushing information through secure email such as DIRECT messaging
    • A provider can look up patients' health information stored at other providers' offices.
  • All responding HIOs plan to offer services to hospitals, primary care practices and specialty practices.
  • At least one HIO provides service in every county in the Commonwealth, with planned coverage by at least three in every county.
  • At least six HIOs now plan coverage in each of the areas surrounding Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg.
  • The most common sources of planned HIO sustainability funding remain hospital participation fees, payer participation fees, and state grants.
  • A little over half of responding HIOs have a sustainability plan in place.

About the PA eHealth Partnership Authority
The PA eHealth Partnership Authority is an independent state agency that is working to meet federal requirements for eHIE in Pennsylvania. eHIE is the electronic sharing of health-related information among unaffiliated providers and organizations according to nationally recognized standards. For more information, visit www.paehealth.org.  

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