Secretary of Health and Human Resources William Hazel, Jr., MD, announced today that a selection has been made for a vendor to manage the statewide Health Information Exchange. Community Health Alliance, a non-profit Virginia-based organization, will be responsible for the creation and governance of the statewide HIE, a secure, confidential, electronic system where a patient’s records will be accessible to other health care providers throughout the nation if a patient chooses to participate. Once implemented, the statewide HIE will improve the speed in which patients receive care, especially if the patient is receiving care from a physician other than their primary care provider.
“Virginia is committed to having the most effective and efficient healthcare available for its citizens. Through the work of numerous statewide bipartisan groups, Virginia has sought to advance health information technology in the Commonwealth for the previous eight years. The statewide HIE will leverage health information technology to improve health care and the health of Virginians,” said Dr. Hazel. “In today's global society, it is absolutely critical that we adopt practices that enable health information to be transmitted quickly and accessibly across the Commonwealth and state lines.”
“The statewide HIE will enhance Virginia's healthcare options and provide additional tools for healthcare providers to use to ensure quality, cost-effective and accurate care for their patients,” said State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, MD, MBA, FAAP. “It will keep patients' records secure and private but readily available to health professionals needing access to those records to treat illness and save lives.”
The Health Information Technology Advisory Commission was charged with ensuring broad stakeholder engagement and providing the governor guidance for the most effective use of the $11.6 million in federal funds to promote this effort. The commission, which is chaired by Secretary Hazel, enlisted the support of private citizens, clinicians, health care professionals, and hospital and insurance executives to assist in building a collaborative model for a statewide HIE.
“Health information technology allows for consumers and providers of health services to be empowered to make good decisions based on secure, timely, accurate, comprehensive and easily accessible information for coordination of care,” said Dr. Hazel. “Virginia is now widely recognized as a leader in the health information field and has implemented a portfolio of strategic projects and programs specifically targeted to identify and address priority health issues within the Commonwealth.”
The Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Information Management and Health Technology will be responsible for administering the program.