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Cleveland Clinic to join CliniSync electronic medical records exchange

The Clinic has agreed to share electronic records through the state of Ohio's CliniSync electronic medical record exchange system, according to Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, which runs CliniSync.

University Hospitals announced a similar agreement last week. The MetroHealth System has yet to sign on but is discussing the idea with the partnership, Mr. Paoletti said.

Getting the two biggest hospitals systems in Northeast Ohio to join CliniSync should make it much easier to get other Ohio hospitals to follow suit, he said.

“It's one of those things where you kind of reach the tipping point,” he said.

The more hospitals that join the exchange, the more useful it will be to hospitals that already are using it, because it will give them access to more records.

The goal of the exchange is to help doctors get quick access to information on patients who have received care at other hospitals. That capability is intended to help them make better decisions, especially in emergency situations when they don't have time to run tests or get results from another hospital. The exchange also is meant to help providers avoid filling out duplicate forms and running duplicate tests.

“What it means for those communities is really going to be big once it's up live and working,” Mr. Paoletti said.

The Clinic will join 71 other hospitals and hundreds of private practice physicians that have agreed to share records through CliniSync. A few hospitals — including Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights and Southview Medical Center in Strongsville — can use the system today, according to this online list of participating hospitals.

The Clinic likely will be ready to start using CliniSync by mid-summer, after the interface connecting the hospital's electronic medical record systems to CliniSync is built and tested, Mr. Paoletti said. UH likely will be ready sooner because that technical work already has begun, he said.

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