COLUMBUS, Ohio – February 15, 2012 – In Ohio, the future is now. The Ohio Health Information Partnership (The Partnership) is creating a statewide environment for improved patient safety and coordination of care, having signed up more than 6,000 primary care physicians to use electronic health records, the highest number of any Regional Extension Center in the nation.
“The fact that so many physicians have signed up shows the commitment that Ohio physicians have in utilizing new technologies to improve patient care and outcomes,” said Brent Mulgrew, an executive board member of The Partnership and executive director of the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA).
The Partnership also committed to the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (HIT) that it will support outreach so that 10,000 physicians can meet Medicare and Medicaid federal meaningful use requirements in 2012.
Using Medicity technology, The Partnership’s CliniSync Health Information Exchange (HIE) has 56 hospitals signed up, including rural and underserved regions. CliniSync also has commitments from one health plan, one national lab, nine physician groups and four other patient care organizations (labs, clinics, paramedics). St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, is now live.
“Rural areas have traditionally been the low folks on the totem pole,” said Jon Wills, executive director of the Ohio Osteopathic Association and an executive board member. “The HITECH Act specifically targeted areas of greatest need to improve patient access and coordinate care more effectively.”
Alongside the regional, grassroots approach that will lead to full statewide exchange, The Partnership is working with state leaders in public reporting, the expansion of patient-centered medical homes, behavioral health homes and easier transitions for people to long-term care, nursing homes and home health through HIE.
Dr. Brian Bachelder, a family practitioner who serves on The Partnership’s board, said physicians show a strong commitment to patients when they choose this advanced technology.
“A physician can go from giving good care to great care, just by organizing the patient’s information. The more your doctor knows about you, the better the care provided,” Dr. Bachelder said. “Now, multiply that by hundreds when we link all of your care together through our statewide health information exchange, CliniSync. More information, giving better care in seconds – that’s powerful. You sure can’t do that on paper,” he said.