Forty-six Maryland medical facilities to begin exchanging patient data

One of the most significant benefits that can be leveraged through the digitization of healthcare records is the increased efficiency with which doctors will be able to access real-time patient care. Formerly, a patient being treated at multiple facilities may have had to endure long waiting periods while one doctor waited for a fax or phone call to get necessary data from another facility necessary to provide treatment.

However, by mobilizing healthcare information electronically across a region or community, patient care can be significantly streamlined.

This has been a hot-button issue in the medical community, and just yesterday, 46 acute-care facilities in Maryland announced they would be participating in a large-scale data sharing innovative spearheaded by the state's healthcare information exchange (HIE).

According to a report in The Washington Post, Maryland officials pushed aggressively for greater electronic healthcare exchange, and as a result, these facilities will soon be able to access basic patient data instantaneously.

Seamless data integration has already had a positive effect on the healthcare outcomes for Maryland patients. According to a recent interview by CRISP Health, Dr. Barton Leonard, the head of the emergency room at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, was able to instantly look up a patient's blood and urine cultures from another hospital's electronic exchange and use that information to treat a severe infection with the proper medication.

While this kind of basic data can flow between hospital's tech infrastructure right now, The Washington Post article mentions it may take many months of rigorous software training before more detailed clinical data will be available for exchange.

It may therefore benefit small medical facility managers to hire the services of a medical technology consulting service who can expedite a practice's adoption of a useful software suite like Medisoft Clinical. By deploying implementation and training specialists to help achieve seamless integration of electronic medical records software into the practice's infrastructure, these facilities can begin preparing for a similar transition.

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.