Eye docs, hospital system integrate disparate EHR systems for data sharing

Several providers in the Cincinnati area have successfully integrated two different computer systems to share electronic health records and improve eye care for diabetic patients, according to an article in the Cincinnati Business Courier.

HealthBridge, a Cincinnati nonprofit that focuses on information technology and one of the partners of Tri-State Regional Extension Center, integrated computer interface programs of the Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) and health system TriHealth so that the NextGen EHR used by CEI could share data with the Epic EHR used by TriHealth. CEI, which performs 200 eye exams week for diabetic patients, can now deliver the results of those exams in minutes electronically to TriHealth's primary care physicians who requested them from CEI.

"Once we got the thing going it took us three months of weekly meetings and a lot of sweat equity," Marsha Wylie, project manager/health information manager for CEI said. "It was tough. ... We wrote our interface. TriHealth had to write their interface. … HealthBridge had to marry everything."

HealthBridge is now in the process of setting up similar interfaces between CEI and other area hospitals.

Health information exchange has become increasingly important as the industry moves to Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program. Healtheway, the nonprofit public/private collaborative chartered to advance the nationwide implementation of interoperable health information exchange, unveiled a new initiative Feb. 24 to bring the industry together to provide a standardized framework for connectivity. That initiative also aims to accomplish interconnectivity across different technology platforms.

To learn more:
- read the article