In the face of natural disasters and medical emergencies, the ability to connect with the right people as fast as possible is crucial. Through its clinician portal, the New Mexico Health Information Collaborative--part of the Nationwide Health Information Network--plans to enable that, said CIO David Perry and medical director of Clinical Informatics Dr. Bob White, at HIMSS10 in Atlanta on Tuesday.
During the discussion, White referred to a hypothetical situation in which an Anthrax scare at a conference in Albuquerque was quickly assessed and contained via access to NMHIC's portal. Not only were medical records for out-of-state patients available with the touch of a button via the NHIN, but out-of-state doctors also were able to access the portal to help individually treat patients.
"The [New Mexico] Department of Health has been so supportive of all these efforts," White said. "[Through such efforts], we can rapidly influence how people display and look at data."
And White, who called his example "far-fetched," said that it was a situation that still needed to be addressed. "Every illness cluster causes worry," his presentation read. "[I]t shows the power of HIE and NHIN."
Perry pointed out that the exchange's primary goal is connecting hospitals, and that deployment across the state's first providers depends on capacity.