Delaware Becomes First State to Enroll All Acute Care Hospitals in Statewide Community Health Record

DOVER - The Delaware Health Information Network ("DHIN")announces full participation of all acute care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in the state, along with the vast majority of Delaware providers, in the first statewide community health record.   This enhances a health care information exchange started in May 2007, when DHIN became the first operational statewide health information exchange in the country.

"With the addition of the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in 2011 and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in 2012, we are proud to announce that all of Delaware's acute care hospitals, all of Delaware's 46 skilled nursing facilities, and 86 percent of our health care providers participate on the Delaware Health Information Network," said Jan Lee, M.D., Executive Director of the DHIN.

DHIN offers "directed" exchange of health information that enables point-to-point electronic delivery of clinical results to an ordering provider, as well as a longitudinal community health record that aggregates data across time and care settings into one comprehensive, searchable database.  An emergency room has immediate access to patient health care information, saving precious minutes when care is most critical, nursing facilities can access discharge summaries, and all care providers get a full view of their patient's health status.

"This ability to search for existing results has led to a dramatic reduction in the ordering of high cost labs and radiology studies.  The addition of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital to those sending clinical data into the DHIN database means the community health record will more completely reflect all care provided in all settings," said Dr. Lee.

"Making key clinical information available to providers that was once fractured across hospitals is no longer an obstacle for the citizens of Delaware," announced Randy Gaboriault, Chair of the Delaware Health Information Network and CIO of Christiana Care Health System.  "With all hospitals and skilled nursing facilities connecting to the nation's first statewide health information exchange, Delaware and the Delaware Health Information Network continue to be the First State, setting the standard for information and care integration."

"A statewide health information exchange gives Delaware the ability to improve the quality of care while managing the cost of care," said Governor Jack Markell.  "With this exchange, doctors across the state have information that enables them to make quicker and better medical judgments for people.  This is the fundamental technological foundation we need to build a system of focused and managed healthcare that keeps people healthy.   The use of technology in health care is vital to improved quality and reduced costs."

"When I was Governor, the Delaware Health Information Network was just a concept.  After being elected Senator, government agencies engaged with an extraordinary partnership in the health care community to make DHIN the first of its kind in the nation," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). "Today, Delaware's health information network achieved an important milestone with every hospital statewide ready to participate.  Furthering the efforts of the DHIN will enable us to improve health care and save money all at the same time. That's what I call a win-win for Delaware."

"Connecting Delaware's nursing homes with the DHIN is a critical milestone and a key component to eliminating medication errors.  By enabling access to discharge summaries and other information, we can ensure seamless transitions of care for residents in these facilities," said Rita Landgraf, Secretary of Delaware Health and Social Services.   "We want to ensure the right care, at the right time, at the right place, whether for those in our skilled nursing facilities, our Medicaid recipients or others in the state's care, and we want to provide these positive outcomes in the most cost-effective manner possible. "

"At Nanticoke, we believe that electronic medical records and health information networks are core quality initiatives and truly enhance patient quality of care and patient safety.  We are extremely delighted to be a member of the Delaware Health Information Network," said Steven A. Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, as a HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management systems Society) Davies Award winner and Stage 7 designated hospital, has a long-standing commitment to using health technology to improve patient care and understands the effort required to successfully implement new technologies and the very real and positive impact they can have on quality and safety.

"At Nemours, we promise to do whatever it takes to help children grow up healthy and reach their full potential, and we work closely with partners around the state to achieve this promise.  Our work together further strengthens Delaware's standing as a leader in the adoption of health information technology and a model to other states regarding the value that health information exchange brings to patients and health care systems," said Gina Altieri, Nemours Vice President for Corporate Services.

Nanticoke and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children are in the process of interfacing with the DHIN.   All skilled nursing facilities are enrolled in DHIN and training will be completed by the end of March.

"The Medical Society of Delaware has long supported the DHIN and recognizes the critical importance of health information exchange as a foundation to high quality and coordinated care, said Mark Meister, Executive Director of the Medical Society of Delaware.  "Ensuring that Delaware physicians have the critical information they need at their fingertips and enabling them to coordinate care across providers is a critical step toward supporting positive health outcomes and healthier Delawareans - a goal we are all working toward."

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