Midwest Health Information Exchanges Begin Sharing Information to Improve Care Across Missouri and Kansas

COLUMBIA, Mo. and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Together, Tiger Institute Health Alliance (TIHA) in Columbia, Mo., and Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (LACIE) in Kansas City, Mo. announced today they are now securely sharing patients' electronic medical records between their respective exchanges. As part of the agreement, the information exchange involves no connection fees for either network, member providers, or patients.

Linking these two health information exchanges allows providers to securely share patients' up-to-date electronic medical records — such as test results, medications and medical histories — with authorized health care professionals at a variety of locations.

Together, LACIE and TIHA have more than 2.5 million patient records that health professionals practicing across Missouri and Kansas can share. Combined, these exchanges include 30 hospitals and more than 4,000 physicians operating at more than 500 clinics and a variety of other care venues, such as emergency medical services, long term care, and home health that use several different electronic health record (EHR) systems.

This collaboration provides caregivers with the medical information needed to make better care decisions for the patient. For example, if a young adult living in Kansas City with Type I diabetes moves to Columbia to attend school at the University of Missouri, medical information about his childhood care at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics would be readily available to providers at University of Missouri Health Care. If the student sought routine care or required emergency medical attention, the student's medical information collected by each organization will be available to caregivers when they need it most.

"As Americans become more mobile, they are receiving health care from different providers, often in different cities," said Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., board chair of the Tiger Institute Health Alliance and vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System. "That makes partnerships like these more important. This data sharing will allow physicians to view their patients' medical records from other health care organizations instantly, giving physicians more information to make the best health care decisions."

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics Chief Medical Information Officer, Laura Fitzmaurice says her organization sees "countless" patients from Missouri and Kansas.

"This partnership between LACIE and TIHA means Children's Mercy will have access to more patient information than ever before," she said. "As a physician, I'm encouraged because we will make better decisions for our patients and, as an administrator, I'm excited to deliver this service to our employed and affiliated physicians."

Mike Dittemore, executive director, LACIE, said sharing these medical records will immediately benefit patients.

"We are now sharing medical records among patients' health care providers in different cities — even different states — all within months of agreeing to do so," he said. "This connection to the Tiger Institute Health Alliance is the most significant connection LACIE has made to date."

About Tiger Institute Health Alliance

www.tiger-institute.org/health-information-exchange/

The Tiger Institute Health Alliance includes 16 health care organizations throughout Missouri employing an array of advanced health information exchange solutions. Initial members began exchanging health information bi-directionally in early 2012. Members represent hospitals, clinics, federally-qualified health centers, post-acute care providers, critical access hospitals and multiple health care providers.

Tiger Institute Health Alliance Contact:
Kristi Widmer, Program Manager
kristi.widmer@tiger-institute.org
(573) 876-8715

About Lewis and Clark Information Exchange:

The Lewis and Clark Information Exchange serves the state of Kansas as one of two approved HIOs, as well as approximately a 100-mile radius around the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. LACIE is a provider led not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation and has been exchanging data since 2009. Current members include, but are not limited to: University of Kansas Hospital, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Truman Medical Centers, Heartland Health, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Olathe Health System, Hiawatha Community Hospital, Anthony Medical Center, Kansas City Metropolitan Physician Association (KCMPA) and Turner House Children's Clinic. Additional participants are actively being recruited to enhance the already robust membership.

Lewis and Clark Information Exchange Contact:
Mike Dittemore, Executive Director
mike.dittemore@lacie-hie.com
(816) 214-6894

Source:Tiger Institute for Health Innovation