HealthBridge Announces Major New Expansion of its Health Information Exchange Infrastructure

Cincinnati, OH - HealthBridge announced today its selection of IBM Initiate Patient software for its new advanced health information exchange (HIE) infrastructure. HealthBridge also announced this new technology as the first in a series of HIE infrastructure enhancements in the coming months to improve information flow for patient care and prepare for new meaningful use and payment reform requirements.  

Inadequate information flow as patients go from one place to another is a common problem in health care. The use of secure, connected technology is seen as a key solution to improving information flow between health care providers and ensuring everyone has the best information to make sound decisions.

HealthBridge and a group of Greater Cincinnati partners are working together on the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration (GCBC), a collaboration aimed at dramatically impacting health care cost, quality outcomes and clinical improvements related to care transitions, pediatric asthma, and adult diabetes.  A key means of achieving the Beacon goals is more complete patient information for health care providers from across the community.

"After a thorough, nationwide search and committed local stakeholder input, HealthBridge has selected IBM software as a new core component of its advanced health information exchange infrastructure," said Keith Hepp, interim Chief Executive Officer of HealthBridge. "This new technology will enable us to provide the community with more robust exchange and patient matching capabilities essential in an era of payment reform. IBM software will help our customers to improve information flows to support better patient care."  

Widely recognized as an industry leader, HealthBridge is one of the nation's largest, most advanced and most financially sustainable health information exchanges (HIE). For more than a decade, HealthBridge has supported collaboration, innovation and data sharing among competing health care organizations in the region.  

Successful health information exchange starts with the reliable and accurate matching of patients and their available records. The HIE must reliably and quickly bring together patient information and must be able to scale to meet Cincinnati's and surrounding community's future data demands. IBM software will be a foundational new technology for advanced data exchange that is secure, accurate, and scalable.

Greater Cincinnati community leaders moved to make critical enhancements to HealthBridge, the community's health information exchange with the award of the Beacon Community Grant in Sept. 2010. HealthBridge worked with its board and partners in the Greater Cincinnati community to develop a plan for a new, advanced Shared Community Infrastructure.

In October 2011, HealthBridge's board approved eight Shared Community Infrastructure enhancements to meet the goals of the Beacon program and to ensure the community has sustainable infrastructure for improvement for years to come. The Shared Community Infrastructure elements, when fully functional and utilized, will assist in improving information flow along a continuum of needs - ensuring information is available for health care providers treating patients, for improvement specialists looking for strategies to improve care for all patients with a specific condition or health care leaders looking at outcomes at a community level.

Greater Cincinnati is one of 17 innovative Beacon communities nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT to develop and showcase new models for health care innovation. For more resources and information on the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration and the Shared Community Infrastructure enhancements, visit www.healthbridge.org/beacon. cid:_1_05B622A005B61C54004DD52A85257949

About HealthBridge

Founded in 1997, HealthBridge started as a regional effort to improve health care quality, by sharing health information electronically in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky tri-state area. Today, HealthBridge is recognized as one of the nation's largest, most advanced and most financially sustainable health information exchanges (HIE). HealthBridge's innovative information network has grown to encompass more than 50 hospitals, 800 physician practices and 7,500 physicians in five different communities in three states. HealthBridge's secure electronic network sends roughly 3.2 million electronic messages per month, including clinical lab tests, radiology reports, discharge summaries and other information vital to better care for more than 2.5 million patients.

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