Hospitals Move Toward Electronic Records Exchange

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

Ray Scott

Cunningham said in the AHA’s Feb. 4 newsletter that keeping SHARE afloat will require individual health care providers, hospitals and insurance companies to spend a total of about $5 million annually.

That would account for 88 percent of SHARE’s revenue. The rest of the money would come from the state’s Medicaid program.

That’s one scenario of how SHARE might be paid for, Scott said. But the details are still being worked out. He said the fees to hospital will vary depending on a number of factors and it’s unlikely that two hospitals will pay the same rate.

Harrison Hospital

North Arkansas Regional Medical Center announced it joined SHARE last month and is in the process of testing the system’s connection to its network, which includes a 174-bed hospital, physician offices and clinics in Jasper, Lead Hill and Marshall, said CEO Vince Leist.

Leist, who came to NARMC in 2010 from a hospital in Southern California, said he had experience establishing a health information exchange. When he learned about SHARE, he jumped at the chance to join.

“We saw this as Arkansas’ effort to produce a health information exchange, and we better get involved,” he said.

Within six months, a doctor in the hospital’s system should be able to electronically order a test, that test be performed and then the results be placed in the patient’s electronic medical record to be viewed by medical providers with the proper access.

“It has a huge potential to improve a patient’s care while reducing costs,” Leist said. “I think if we use the system correctly, we can do that.”

He also encourages other hospitals to join the network.

Once a hospital has joined, if a patient from JRMC ends up in the NARMC system, a doctor can quickly pull up that medical history electronically, reducing the time waiting on the records and possibly eliminating the need for some tests.

“The more hospitals participate, the more value the health information exchange has,” Leist said.



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