New Jersey plans to become first state to achieve complete interconnectivity with federal funds

On February 9, state officials in New Jersey announced that roughly $40 million in federal Medicaid funds would be awarded to 40 private practices and 30 medical facilities in the state due to their integration and use of electronic medical records software to improve patient care.

According to an article in NJ Spotlight on the newly acquired funds, the awarded money will help to reduce the total costs these facilities recorded as a result of EMR implementation, and provide an array of financial and clinical benefits.

As Colleen Woods of the Office of Health Information Technology stated in the article, the funds will lay the framework for New Jersey to become the first in America to have complete clinical information exchange across the entirety of the state.

While other states have used health information exchanges (HIEs) to achieve significant benefits, they all have a certain degree of regional gaps. As such, New Jersey could become the first state to meaningfully connect all the laboratories, pharmacies, patients, facilities and physicians by linking its five regional HIEs.

While patients with chronic illnesses formerly had their clinical information spread throughout a disconnected series of healthcare providers, all patient data will now be accessible in a centralized database, allowing for superior coordination to improve the patient experience.

Such widespread connectivity also enhances the speed at which patients receive clinical care because their data can be retrieved immediately, rather than having to be delivered through other channels.

Considering the many benefits of seamless interactivity between a state’s medical centers, facility managers should consider deploying the services of a medical technology consulting firm to help the facility transition to a digital infrastructure efficiently. The facility may then be able to attain federal funds from the government under the HITECH act, provided they demonstrate meaningful use by improving the quality and quantity of patient care the facility can provide.

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.