DAYTON, Ohio-HealthLink Miami Valley was one of two Ohio programs that participated in a national survey of more than 100 health information exchange initiatives nationwide. These initiatives are working toward faster, safer, and better quality health care information exchange, according to a report released this week by the eHealth Initiative Foundation (eHI) in Washington, D.C.
HealthLink has developed a unique software system that tracks use and access to health care by uninsured individuals and differs from many other health information exchanges in that the focus has been in the public sector. Since 2001, HealthLink Miami Valley has worked exclusively in Montgomery County but recently started working with organizations in the Greater Miami Valley to establish a regional health information organization.
The new eHI report analyzed trends in the exchange of health information from more than 100 efforts across the country, representing initiatives in 45 states and the District of Columbia. The study shows that state, regional or community efforts are rapidly advancing through the steps necessary to electronically exchange health information in an effort to improve healthcare quality and safety and health care savings while preserving the security of individual healthcare information.
The survey was conducted by the eHealth Initiative Foundation with support by the Health Resources and Services Administration Office of the Advancement of Telehealth of the Department of Health and Human Services. The complete survey report is available at www.ehealthinitiative.org.
"This information is invaluable to HealthLink Miami Valleybecause it gives us a bearing on our level of progress in relation to other efforts," states Katherine Cauley, Ph.D., director, Center for Healthy Communities, and associate professor in the Department of Community
Health, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. "We face common challenges, so we're interested to learn more about the innovative ways other regions and communities have resolved some of these pressing issues." Cauley is a member of eHI's working group for connecting communities.
Since 2003, the eHealth Initiative Foundation has been working with leaders at the state, regional and community levels to build multi-stakeholder collaborations focused on mobilizing healthcare information across organizations to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.
At the nexus of HealthLink Miami Valley is the Center for Healthy Communities, a nationally recognized community/academic partnership, founded in 1989 and committed to improving the health of the Dayton community and health professions education. CHC staff work alongside community partners to address systemic public health problems, research policy and practice issues, and provide technical assistance, program evaluation and continuing education for health professionals. The center is fiscally housed as a division in the Department of Community Health at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.
The Center for Healthy Communities co-sponsored the first Ohio Health Information Technology Summit in Columbus last October and continues to work with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio on the Second Ohio HIT Summit meeting planned for October 17, 2005.
The eHealth Initiative and its foundation are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations whose missions are to drive improvement in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare through information and information technology.
For more information about the report or about HealthLink Miami Valley, contact Mary Crimmins, Center for Healthy Communities at (937) 775-1122.
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