Fallon Clinic, Fallon Community Health Plan and UMass Memorial Health Care, all in Worcester, Mass., said last week that they have agreed to partner in creating an electronic medical-data connectivity network.
"Our target is within the next six months or so to have a prototype ready for testing within the three organizations," said Rhian Gregory, spokeswoman for the 240-physician clinic.
The network would allow physicians to access patient medical information kept by any of the three organizations.
"At the outset, it's focused on the region, but it certainly has implications that can go beyond the region to the rest of the state and beyond the state," she said. One model under consideration would allow other providers and plans to have access to the system on a subscription basis.
"If a Fallon Clinic patient, for instance, is rushed to the emergency room at UMass ... our goal is to make sure that the physician on duty has access to the patient's most updated medical history, including existing medical conditions, and can immediately screen for potential drug interactions and other medical concerns," Larry Garber, M.D., medical director of informatics at Fallon Clinic, said in a news release.
Fallon Clinic is in the midst of an IT development plan that includes an electronic medical-records system to be available by 2006.
UMass Memorial is an academic medical center that operates three hospitals in Worcester with a total of 707 staffed beds. It is affili-ated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.