Delaware & Maryland Overcome State Boundaries to Improve Patient Care

Dover, DE – June 17, 2014 --  An important "first" is taking place in cyberspace between Delaware and Maryland that is expected to greatly benefit hospital patients in both states.                         

The Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) and its health information exchange counterpart in Maryland, CRISP (the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients), have begun exchanging admission, discharge and transfer summaries on patients across state lines.

For Delaware residents who are patients at three hospital systems in Maryland—Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, the University of Maryland Medical System hospitals on the Eastern Shore and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury—their personal physicians "back home" in Delaware can view the information from these significant hospital events in Maryland on DHIN, providing the opportunity for a faster response for follow-up care. The remaining 41 Maryland hospitals are expected to be added to the system in the coming months.

Notifications for Maryland residents who are admitted, discharged or transferred from any Delaware hospital are being delivered through the Maryland exchange and are available to their Maryland-based physicians. 

"We are thrilled to have the systems of both states exchanging this information," said Dr. Jan Lee, chief executive officer of DHIN.  "This is an excellent example of how technology can help bring doctors closer to their patients even when an event happens outside the state's borders.  During the last two years, we have been working with our colleagues at CRISP on this program, and it is an important first step in what will become a full state-state exchange of hospital event information that will ultimately benefit patients of both states."

Providers and others with care coordination responsibility may not know when one of their patients is admitted to a hospital in an adjoining state or may find out well after the hospital event.  Incorporating this information in the community health record of each state will help promote post-hospital care coordination and help reduce readmissions.

"We know that many residents cross the Maryland-Delaware border to receive their healthcare, whether it's to travel to a hospital for specialty care or because they are travelling on vacation," said David Horrocks, president of CRISP.  "Sharing notifications of hospitalizations will help to ensure seamless care, regardless of where a hospital visit occurs."

Soon this information will be channeled to the Encounter Notification System (ENS) that is offered by both states to their participating providers.  The alerts generated by ENS—which indicate in real-time that a patient has been admitted, discharged or transferred from a hospital— help to streamline the coordination of care among care management teams.

"Receiving near-immediate notice upon a patient's discharge from a hospital, instead of waiting for a family member or friend to call, provides caregivers the information they need to follow-up most effectively," said Dr. Lee.  "Patients who do not receive post-treatment care in a timely fashion often jeopardize a smooth recovery and experience an increased likelihood of a return visit to the hospital soon after the initial discharge. Seamless communication in transitions of care is a critical component to both improving care and reducing healthcare costs. "

About DHIN

DHIN, the Delaware Health Information Network, is the first live, statewide health information exchange in the nation.  Launched in 2007, today it serves all of Delaware's acute care hospitals and approaching 100% of the State's medical providers.  More than 14,000,000 deliveries of clinical results and reports are made through DHIN each year. There are a total of 1.7 million unique patients with results on DHIN including patients from all 50 states. DHIN is sharing real-time clinical information to improve patient outcomes, eliminate the duplication of service and reduce the cost of healthcare. For more information about DHIN visit www.DHIN.org or call 302-678-0220.  Please also visit DHIN on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@DHIN_hie) 

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