Carolinas HealthCare and Novant Health launch partnership to share medical records

Electronic Data Capture
Two North Carolina-based systems are linking their medical records to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures.

Two North Carolina health systems have formed a new partnership that will improve medical record interoperability between the organizations and put more relevant patient information in front of physicians.

On Wednesday, Carolinas HealthCare System, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Novant Health, based in Winston-Salem, announced a partnership that would integrate each provider’s health information exchange (HIE) system, giving physicians broader access to records of patients throughout the region.

Together, the systems serve approximately 16 million patients annually at nearly 1,400 care locations throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Their HIE systems contain approximately 9 million patient records.

By providing easy access to medical records, the health systems want to reduce readmissions, lower costs and eliminate repeat tests and procedures. Recent research shows using HIEs can save millions in redundant or unnecessary tests.

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"This collaboration will improve efficiency and enhance patient care and allow providers to make more informed decisions because of a more timely and broader view of our patients’ health and medication information," Craig Richardville, chief information and analytics officer for Carolinas HealthCare System said in an announcement. "What used to take days or weeks to receive patient information from another health system will now be near instantaneous."

The IT partnership is likely to play a role in parallel efforts by the two systems to address health disparities and improve access to care within the region.

The partnership comes months after a federal judge allowed a federal antitrust lawsuit to move forward against Carolinas HealthCare over allegations the system prevented insurers from encouraging patients to seek out lower-cost care.