Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health, which is owned by Ascension Health in St. Louis, will join the Indiana Health Information Exchange by late summer or early fall, according to St. Vincent CEO Vincent Caponi.
The 16-hospital system joins other Indianapolis health systems in the clinical healthcare information exchange program.
Community Health Network, Clarian Health Partners, St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers and Wishard Health Services will contribute patient data to a single healthcare information system allowing providers at physician offices, clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms to access patient records. Authorized physicians and other clinicians can access lab and diagnostic test results, drug prescriptions, patient histories and information about adverse drug interactions and existing medical conditions from computer terminals.
Caponi, who is the chairman of the information exchange, said the not-for-profit company was funded by a $1 million grant from BioCrossroads, formerly Central Indiana Life Sciences. BioCrossroads is government and privately funded economic development agency that includes among its members the city of Indianapolis, the hospitals and the Regenstrief Institute at the Indiana University School of Medicine, which is leading the data collection project.
Caponi said Indianapolis health systems will be added to the information exchange in stages, with full participation slated for late 2005. He predicted that other central Indiana hospitals and providers will join the program gradually, eventually including the entire state.
"We hope to set community standards and learn more about the quality and cost of the care we provide and lift all boats with the same tide," he explained. "We hope to have a healthcare database unique in the United States and think that will be attractive to clinical research as well."
He said the information exchange data would be secure and meet the privacy standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.