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Winston-Salem, N.C., February 13, 2014 – Novant Health electronic health records is now connected to the Department of Veterans Affairs through the eHealth Exchange, the federal level Health Information Exchange. The connection allows clinicians to share patient information across both systems without paper or faxing, improving the coordination of care for veterans who receive care in multiple locations.
In November 2014, Novant Health became the first healthcare system in North Carolina to join the eHealth Exchange, which simplifies patient care coordination by allowing providers across the country secure and instant access to patient records. Currently, Veterans Affairs does not connect directly with any state, public, or private Heath Information Exchanges and must be accessed through the eHealth Exchange connection. Patients in the VA system must provide authorization (opt in) for their data to be shared through the eHealth Exchange.
“Since implementing our own Electronic Health record at Novant Health, we have seen positive changes for our patients as we improve coordination between physicians within our system and external systems,” said Dave Garrett, Novant Health senior vice president and chief information officer. “Connecting to the eHealth Exchange and the VA will only broaden those successes.”
Through the eHealth Exchange, providers will be able to use the data available to them to quickly find and notify patients who may be at risk for problems related to unsafe drugs or recalled medical devices, identify epidemics nationwide and allow researchers to analyze treatment and outcome data to identify best practices. This connection to the VA only enhances the ability to share data.
“Over their lifetime, most people will see multiple providers,” Garrett said. “Through connections in the health information exchange, Novant Health can ensure our patients’ medical records are securely accessed by their authorized providers—wherever they seek treatment.”