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8 Health Information Exchanges Lead The Way

Look inside some of the most established HIEs and how they help U.S. health organizations share data, in the name of lower costs and better patient care.
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Maine's state-designated health information exchange, HealthInfoNet, recently launched a new medical image pilot that will make the HIE the first in the nation to support statewide sharing of X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, mammograms, and other medical images. HealthInfoNet went live in 2009 and currently supports the exchange of health records for 1 million of the 1.3 million people who live in the state. Until now, HealthInfoNet provided access to medical image reports, but with the pilot, physicians also will have instant access to the actual medical images themselves, rather than wait for copies of patients' MRIs and other diagnostic imaging to be sent on disks. HealthInfoNet will be able to link each image with a single patient identifier through its HIE Master Person Index, allowing clinicians to search for a patient's prior images when needed, to track changes over time. The HealthInfoNet medical image archive is made possible with a cloud-based architecture and services provided by Dell, which in December 2010 acquired medical image archiving vendor InSite One. HealthInfoNet operates on subscription fees from participating healthcare organizations, and the HIE also has received HITECH funding.

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