Existing Texas HIEs merging to provide more significant communal data access

Many different states are joining forces and entering into collaborative healthcare information exchanges (HIEs), leveraging information from other participating facilities to qualify for federal incentives and improve patient care.

Interestingly, in order to enjoy optimal benefit from electronic data exchange, reports state that several existing HIEs in different communities are merging with one another to create an even larger pool of clinical resources to draw from.

For example, reports state that in Texas, the Galveston County Health Information Exchange – composed of two hospitals and more than 750 individual physicians – merged recently with the Health Information Exchange of Southeast Texas – composed of 16 hospitals and 650 individual physicians. The unified health exchange will be called Greater Houston Healthconnect, and will reportedly become the largest institution of its kind in Texas.

As Dr. Ben Raimer of University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston stated in a press release, "With support from the Houston Endowment, these systems will assure that patients seen in a variety of community health settings will be able to navigate health systems regionally. These efforts assure patient access and optimal care."

Considering the vast range of information physicians in Greater Houston Healthconnect will be able to instantly access with the cooperation of so many other practices, facility managers looking to leverage a similar pool of clinical data would be well-advised to deploy the services of a medical technology consulting firm. These professionals can both implement and train staff on how to use a suite of products including electronic medical records, electronic billing and esprescribing software to make the facility an ideal candidate for the HIEs in their state.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.