COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri Health Care physicians are using a new technological tool to improve patient care. As a member of the Tiger Institute Health Alliance, MU Health Care is electronically sharing patients' up-to-date electronic medical records with physicians who work at other health care organizations in central Missouri.
The Tiger Institute Health Alliance, mid-Missouri's only health information exchange, is a network of 11 hospitals and physician groups, including approximately 750 physicians and health care providers, who are able to share patient's medical information instantly. Currently, three of the 11 health organizations in the information exchange are actively sharing patients' medical records. The three organizations include Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City Medical Group and MU Health Care. The 11 member organizations include:
· Capital Region Medical Center
· Carroll County Memorial Hospital
· Community Health Center of Central Missouri
· Cooper County Memorial Hospital
· Jefferson City Medical Group
· MU Health Care
· Nevada Regional Medical Center
· Robert W. Sparks, D.O., P.C.
· Rusk Rehabilitation Center
· Samaritan Hospital
· Scotland County Hospital
The information exchange makes information such as as lab results, medications and medical history that are available in one hospital's electronic medical record available to physicians at other hospitals and clinics, helping provide physicians a more complete picture of their patients' health.
"As a cardiologist, I see patients from towns all across central Missouri," said Kevin Dellsperger, MD, an MU Health Care physician who worked with experts at the Tiger Institute to develop the system. "Before this system, if I had a patient come to me from Jefferson City because of a heart condition, I would have to contact his primary care physician to have a copy of his medical records mailed or faxed to me. That could take a day or two. Today, if my patient's physician is a member of the health information exchange, I can log into my electronic medical record in my own office and instantly view her medical records before her appointment."
The health information exchange is a secure computer system that stores key pieces of patients' medical records so they can be shared by health care providers at different organizations. Patients at member health care organizations are offered the option to join the network and make their records available to all their health care providers throughout the system. More than 85,000 patients have signed up to join the information exchange since February 2012.
"We believe the Tiger Institute Health Alliance is an important new tool for patient care in central Missouri," said Mike Seda, manager of the Tiger Institute Health Alliance. "As the system grows, it becomes even more valuable for patients and health care professionals across our region."
University of Missouri Health Care has received national recognition for its leading-edge electronic medical record. In November, MU Health Care facilities joined a group of only approximately 100 nationwide to achieve Stage 7 of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Model - the most advanced level of EMR technology implementation. In July, MU Health Care also was named by the American Hospital Association's "Hospitals & Health Networks" magazine as one of the 100 Most Wired health systems in America and as one of the 200 "Most Connected" health systems by U.S. News and World Report.