Rural Florida Communities Partner with RelayHealth to Create a Health Information Exchange

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- After three years of preparing small practices and safety net hospitals in rural Florida to participate in a regional health information exchange (HIE), the not-for-profit CommunityHealth IT has partnered with RelayHealth to enable the transfer of health information among providers and to empower patients and businesses with patient engagement tools.

“The advances in health information exchange have opened new opportunities for rural providers and patients to services that had once only been available in more urban settings. Through the health information exchange, CommunityHealth IT can strengthen the data flow to improve community health and begin to lower healthcare costs,” said David C. Willis, MD, CMIO, CommunityHealth IT.

Endorsed by Enterprise Florida— the State of Florida’s business development arm— for providing health information technology resources to rural and medically underserviced areas, CommunityHealth IT plans to leverage RelayHealth HIE services to close the gap on the digital divide in the region. Even medical providers without electronic health record systems will be able to access and share patient health information with facilities that have state-of-the art electronic health records.

“Community health organizations face difficult challenges in bridging the rural-urban divide and facilitating the exchange of information across these providers in a community,” said Jeff Felton, president, RelayHealth. “RelayHealth is proud to work with CommunityHealth IT to demonstrate how HIE can help providers overcome these challenges.”

“In this phase of our project,” explained Dr. Willis, “we are working with RelayHealth to help area providers to satisfy regulatory requirements, engage citizens as more active participants in their healthcare and illustrate for our non-medical stakeholders, such as economic development organizations as well as area employers, the short- and long-term benefits of the health information exchange.”

Additionally, the RelayHealth HIE platform will serve as the foundation for clinical integration and accountable care efforts throughout the region.


CommunityHealth IT is a 39-organization learning network and coordinating body for regional disease management and HIT projects. Projects range from systematically expanding high-speed internet connectivity in rural Florida, facilitating electronic health record implementation, and exchanging electronic health information through a 14-county regional health information exchange. CommunityHealth IT serves as the platform to engage patients, medical providers, hospitals, healthcare professional associations (national and regional), universities and other learning institutions, regional economic development organizations and workforce development boards, the North Florida Broadband Authority, the Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Program, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and two federally-designated HIT Regional Extension Centers.

About RelayHealth

RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, enables the secure exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government agencies. RelayHealth processes nearly 15 billion healthcare transactions annually by integrating the delivery of high-quality care and improving the financial outcomes for its customers. For more information, call 888.743.8735, or visit our Web site at Follow us on Twitter (@RelayHealth) or visit the RelayHealth Facebook page.


CommunityHealth IT
Jill Dygert, 352-313-6500 x111
[email protected]
Marchell Gillis, 770-237-7505
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Florida

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Data Management  Software  Practice Management  Health  Hospitals