Healthcare Business News
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

Massachusetts launches statewide health information exchange

By Jaimy Lee
Posted: October 16, 2012 - 3:30 pm ET

Massachusetts on Tuesday launched a statewide health information exchange that will allow healthcare providers to share electronic health information as they seek to improve coordination of care, lower costs and increase patient safety.

Gov. Deval Patrick successfully sent his health data from 907-bed Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to 659-bed Baystate Medical Center in Springfield as part of the launch.

"In Massachusetts, we believe that access to affordable, quality healthcare is a public good, and launching a secure, cutting-edge health information exchange is an important step in delivering on that," Patrick said in a news release.

The Massachusetts Health Information Highway, the name of the state's HIE, has received $16.9 million in funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Medicaid.

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"By expanding our connections and access to health information, we have the opportunity to be more efficient and, most importantly, to improve the quality of care for our patients," Massachusetts General Hospital President Dr. Peter Slavin said in the release.

Participants in the exchange can connect using Direct messaging-enabled electronic health-record systems, local area network devices or secure e-mail portals, according to the Massachusetts e-Health Institute. The exchange is expected to be rolled out in three phases, starting with provider-directed exchanges of electronic health records.

Participating providers (PDF) include Atrius Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Partners HealthCare.

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