What Will The Health Information Exchange Do For Me?
- How would you like to have your prescription waiting for you at the pharmacy because your doctor sent it electronically?
- Would you like to give your personal and health information to a provider once instead of completing paper forms each and every time you visit?
- What if your child was ill, and you could schedule an appointment with the pediatrician from your home computer for the next day?
- Suppose you had to evacuate because of a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood -- wouldn't it be comforting to know that your medical records were stored and saved electronically, unlike paper files that could be lost or damaged?
- Need to keep and update records of your parents' prescriptions for physician appointments or possible hospitalizations?
- What if you were involved in a car accident out of town and brought to a strange ED? Wouldn't it save valuable time if your personal health information could be accessed in seconds by the triage nurse?
Today, we do a great deal of banking, shopping, scheduling and communicating online, yet our medical information exists in handwritten, paper files within locations that may be destroyed by natural disasters or simply lost. The information is usually shared between providers via phone, fax, mail or limited computer networks. This still takes time and may not provide a complete or accurate record.
Many doctors and other medical providers are in the process of converting their paper record systems to electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs are designed to share information with other providers, such as labs and specialists. The sharing of records is also known as health information exchange.
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Health information exchange is the electronic movement of personal health and medical information securely between doctors, hospitals and other health care providers and organizations when and where it's needed for patient care.
In our state, the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE) is developing a secure and safe framework to exchange patient health information for the purpose of improving patient safety, quality of care and health outcomes. And as LaHIE's capabilities advance further, the information can move with you -- to the specialist, the hospital, the nursing home, the next state or even across the country.