Medical Providers, I-T Specialists To Convene In Springfield On Forming Regional Health Information Exchange

Over one hundred health care providers and I-T specialists throughout western Massachusetts will attend a summit in Springfield tomorrow [Thursday] on launching a regional health information exchange. The Pioneer Valley Health Information Exchange will be a hub for medical providers in the state’s four western counties to more easily and securely share patient electronic medical records. Neil Kudler, Vice-President at Baystate Health, says providers currently use different platforms for storing health records that are not compatible and don’t readily, as he puts it, talk to each other.
“Much of the information would be paper-based at this point or, at best, possibly on a flash drive or a CD.”
That can lead to incomplete information and unnecessary procedures adding significant costs for both patient and provider. Kudler says the exchange would help eliminate inefficiencies, providing clear, comprehensive insight into a patient’s medical history.
“The physician will know what medications have been prescribed, what diagnoses a patient has, what procedures the patient has had so that we can decrease the repetition and redundancy of clinical services.”
Kudler says the exchange is expected to cost about $3.5 million and is being funded by Baystate Health and Health New England. It’s expected to be up and running by July.