Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth initiate HIE project

The Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth Medical Center debuted a new health information exchange last week in which both facilities will use Epic's CareAnywhere HIE software to allow sharing of medical histories, lab results, doctors' notes, X-ray images, CAT scan and MRI reports, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The arrangement could prove to be a bit lopsided in the near term, with the smaller and simpler MetroHealth gaining access to Cleveland Clinic's records right away, but the far larger Cleveland Clinic (4.3 million annual patient visits to MetroHealth's 1 million), needing to phase in its interface to MetroHealth over the next one to two years.

The first benefits will be felt in the ER, Charles Emerman, emergency medicine chair at MetroHealth, told the Plain Dealer. "We don't have to wait for phones to be answered or paperwork to be faxed. We won't have to make emergency medical decisions with incomplete information," he Emerman said. "With access to the patient's medical records, we'll provide the right care immediately. This will help us save lives."

Epic officials say the program is set to expand to other Epic providers in the area, including Akron Children's Hospital, Care Alliance, Kaiser Permanente and Neighborhood Family Practice. The ultimate goal: A statewide information exchange, C. Martin Harris told the Plain Dealer. Martin is both Cleveland Clinic's CIO, and a board member of the Ohio Health Information Partnership.

To learn more:
- read this Cleveland Plain Dealer article