Over 100 physicians are participating as well as a large number of patients, which is all voluntary. The patient information through the exchange is able to be sent to another physician in the plan. This is helpful as a a simple example for referring a patient to a specialist to have the information available, and not only that, but the patient doesn’t need to sit down with a clipboard and fill out all the same information all over again. A patient portal is also in the works soon to allow patients to view the information as well. The information shared is called a “patient summary” and included medications, allergies, etc. The full press release is below. BD
Boston – The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) announces the rollout of Wellport SM, the greater-Newburyport health information exchange (HIE). Wellport is one of three HIEs in MAeHC’s electronic health record (EHR) pilot program.
Wellport, developed in partnership with Wellogic ( www.wellogic.com ) of Cambridge, Mass., enables patients to elect to have a summary of their health information created. This list, called a shared health summary, can then be viewed by other participating clinicians, including those at Anna Jaques Hospital, so that the patient’s providers have more timely and accurate information and are able to better manage the patient’s care. A shared health summary is a collection of key information about a patient’s health, including medications, allergies, medical problems, and test results. While patient participation in Wellport is entirely voluntary, about 90% of patients thus far have chosen to join.
Dr. Richard Mindess, CEO and medical director of the Lower Merrimac Valley Physician Hospital Organization (LMVPHO) and the Whittier Independent Practice Association (IPA) and president and CEO of Wellport, touts the benefits of the HIE to both patients and providers. “Wellport will greatly assist area physicians in providing high quality care, will minimize the chance of medical errors, and will allow patients to become more engaged participants in their own care,” he says. “Wellport will present an extraordinary opportunity to substantially improve the efficiency with which health care is delivered.”
One hundred thirty-eight clinicians in thirty-nine practices in the greater-Newburyport community have EHRs and are participating in the Wellport network. In the near future clinicians at the 123-bed Anna Jaques Hospital will also be able to use Wellport to access vital information about their patients. “Wellport gives Anna Jaques Hospital a competitive advantage,” says Delia O’Connor, the hospital’s president and CEO. “This should help draw progressive, outstanding physicians to our service area, particularly physicians who are recently out of training and expect this kind of innovative support to their practice. Wellport’s contribution to improved patient outcomes is also a plus for the communities we serve.”
The Newburyport community is looking forward to adding more features to the network this summer. Wellport will soon offer providers electronic referrals as well as a comprehensive medication history, which will include all prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies throughout the United States. Also coming to the Newburyport community this summer is a patient portal, which will give patients online access to their health information and will also allow them to use secure patient-provider communications, view test results, and complete other tasks.
Micky Tripathi, MAeHC president and CEO, is pleased with the enthusiasm and dedication of the Newburyport community. “These practices are paving the way for future communities who will build HIEs. They are both making the sacrifices and realizing the benefits that, we hope, will demonstrate that EHRs and HIEs improve care, increase safety, and make care more affordable.”
The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative was formed in 2004 as an initiative of the physician community to bring together the state’s major health care stakeholders for the purpose of establishing an EHR system that would enhance the quality, efficiency, and safety of care in Massachusetts. MAeHC endeavors to transform the delivery of health care using electronic health records and health information exchange. In partnership with its three pilot communities and thirty-four member organizations, MAeHC is fostering rapid widespread adoption of these systems. To learn more about the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, please visit www.maehc.org.