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GaHIN Connection to National eHealth Exchange Paves the Way for State-to-State Exchange of Health Information

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SOURCE Georgia Health Information Network

National connectivity enables seamless and secure Interstate record-sharing

ATLANTA, July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the statewide health information exchange network that electronically connects Georgia hospitals, physicians and clinicians to safely and securely exchange patient health information, today announced its "go live" status with the eHealth Exchange (formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network). The national Exchange was established to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare by establishing a mechanism for sharing nationwide health information, and as one of the nation's leading healthcare information exchanges, GaHIN's national connectivity status opens the gateway for the seamless, meaningful interstate exchange of medical records.

Operating as a program under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Exchange is comprised of a group of federal agencies and non-federal organizations that came together under a common mission and purpose to improve patient care, streamline disability benefit claims, and improve public health reporting through secure, trusted, and interoperable health information exchange. As of January 2014, an eHealth Exchange survey revealed that more than 800 hospitals and 6,000 medical groups are participating in the national network, accounting for millions of transactions annually.

"With GaHIN's national connectivity comes Georgia's ability to share medical information immediately and securely with neighboring states, and eventually more states across the U.S.," said Denise Hines, executive director of GaHIN. "This expanded connectivity allows for the delivery of the right health information to the right place at the right time – no matter where the patient is receiving care – across a robust national network."

Since 2009, GaHIN has been leading the nation in technological advances that help improve patient outcomes, which is a key component in transforming the quality of care for, and the health of, Georgians. Currently, GaHIN has connected members consisting of regional HIEs, hospital systems, physician groups and individual practitioners that currently reach counties across the entire state of Georgia. With nearly 16 million patient records in the Georgia network, the state can soon expect to see improvements in patient care and cost savings surrounding key health factors, including reductions in readmission rates and duplicative testing, prescription compliance, continuity of care, and a number of other health-related indices plaguing Georgia's health landscape.

GaHIN's members have automatic access to the national network, and are able to augment their continuity of care by enhancing patient care coordination among other authorized providers and affiliates nationwide. GaHIN helps its members achieve Meaningful Use (Stages 1 & 2), while its technology gives members the ability to access a more complete view of their patients' health information directly from their electronic health record (EHR) systems, including Medicaid health and pharmacy information, and immunization updates and reporting from the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services (GRITS), managed by the Department of Public Health. Members also have the advantage of all existing and future services including lab routing, admission, discharge and transfer alerts, referral requests and secure messaging, all of which minimize manual and often time-consuming processes, to ultimately help raise the bar in patient care while simultaneously lowering healthcare costs.

About Georgia Health Information Network
The Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use and exchange of electronic health information to foster a healthier Georgia, improve patient-centered healthcare, increase efficiency and promote the health status of the entire state population. GaHIN's purpose is to close the patient information gap across all care settings by electronically connecting disparate systems and data sources to support improved quality of care, better health outcomes and reductions in cost. www.gahin.org.

For more information about the eHealth Exchange, visit www.healthewayinc.org.

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