Greater Houston Healthconnect, which completed its initial launch last December, is set to become one of the largest health information exchanges in Texas after merging with two adjacent HIEs this week.
The announcement comes on the heels of the release of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules, in which HIEs are expected to play a large role in helping hospitals and other healthcare organizations meet the proposed requirements.
Both the Galveston County Health Information Exchange and the Health Information Exchange of Southeast Texas now will be a part of Greater Houston Healthconnect. The former comprised two hospitals and 752 physicians, while the latter included 16 hospitals and 650 physicians in six counties.
Overall, Healthconnect now will consist of 133 hospitals and more than 14,000 physicians over 20 counties--a coverage area of close to 7 million people.
Greater Houston Healthconnect isn't the only HIE experiencing growth of late. HealthInfoNet, Maine's exchange, will add its 23rd hospital later this month, according to Fenceviewer.
Meanwhile in Georgia, the Augusta-based Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon launched their own HIE this week--the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange, according to the Augusta Chronicle.