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ARRA Sparks Health Information Exchange for Four States


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for health IT has encouraged Maine, Washington, Nebraska, and Michigan to develop or expand health information exchange (HIE) networks.

In late July, Maine plans to launch a 2 year trial of HealthInfoNet, an electronic health record (EHR) network. The project will initially include fifteen hospitals, 3 clinics, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has allotted a $1.7 million grant as well as the ARRA money.

Nebraska plans to expand the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeNHII), using ARRA funds, after a successful 90-day pilot. The NeNHII uses Axolotl software to link hospitals, labs, physicians, pharmacies, and clinics.

In Michigan, the Detroit Medical Center is partnering with my1HIE to give rural physicians access to their services. The program will put those physicians in contact with the Center’s 8 hospitals and more than 3000 doctors.

The Western Washington Rural Healthcare Collaborative is planning to create a web-based HIE program. To begin with, the program will connect three hospitals and a level one trauma center but they hope to expand to nine different hospitals. Orion Health is designing the program to allow messaging, a clinical data repository, a master patient index, and tele-pharmacy capabilities.

According to President of Orion Health North America and EMEA, Paul Viskovich, “ARRA funding will certainly encourage additional activity among HIEs.”

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