Launch Date Nears for Beginning of Health Information Exchange Partnership To Improve Patient Care in Georgia

Launch Date Nears for Beginning of Health Information Exchange Partnership To Improve Patient Care in Georgia

Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center and Central Georgia Health System to Work Together

MACON, GA (Thursday, March 1, 2012) – Georgia’s academic health center and one of the state’s largest hospitals have partnered to launch an electronic health information exchange to improve the coordination, timeliness and safety of patient care.

The health information exchange, coordinated by Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center and The Medical Center of Central Georgia, a service of Central Georgia Health System, will give participating health care providers more comprehensive patient information at their fingertips. According to The Medical Center of Central Georgia’s Chief Medical Officer Jim Cunningham, MD, FACS, the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange, or GRAChIE, “will allow physicians, hospitals and, most importantly, patients to benefit from an almost instantaneous transfer of health information.”

Media is invited to a launch celebration luncheon on Tuesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. at The Floyd Room in the James H. Sloppy Floyd Building, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta. A valid state ID is required for admission. State legislators and representatives from both health care entities will be in attendance.  

By enabling providers to access records from multiple providers and facilities, GRAChIE should improve quality of care, eliminate costly and redundant testing, and reduce treatment delays and hassles related to paper medical records and reports. Particular benefits could be in emergency situations such as heart attacks or car accidents.

“An efficient, accurate modality which provides an exchange of pertinent health information among various health care providers is quickly becoming an essential component of our state and national health care systems,” Cunningham said. “This rapid exchange of information will, in turn, enhance the overall quality and safety of the current health care delivery system.”

Today, health care providers can share patients’ health information via telephone, fax, mail or limited computer networks. GRAChIE automates the process of searching and allows participants to locate records in minutes through a secure network that links the two medical centers, affiliated physicians and other health care providers. The exchange provides access to patient information, including lab test and pathology results, X-ray, MRI and other imaging reports, medication and immunization history, drug reactions and allergies and physician transcription reports.

In early spring 2012, GRAChIE will add other regional health care providers with expansion to other areas of the state soon to follow.

“By partnering on health information exchange, Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center and The Medical Center of Central Georgia are demonstrating their unwavering commitment to quality care,” CEO of Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center and GRAChIE Board Chair David Hefner said. “We hope this kind of collaboration will soon allow providers around the state to evaluate and apply best practices to improve health care for all Georgians.”


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