Secure sharing of health information can be critical in all types of emergencies – those affecting a single individual or thousands. It can also play a major role in preventing disasters.
The Regenstrief mock scenario involved a visitor from out-of-state who collapsed while attending an Indianapolis Colts football game and was rushed to a central Indiana hospital. Upon the individual’s arrival at the emergency department, the health-care team was faced with making critical care decisions quickly in the absence of any information about the patient’s prior medical history.
Using the NHIN, the team was able to retrieve important information from several out-of-state institutions. The information obtained from these outside entities changed the course of treatment for this patient, improving the team’s response time and possibly affecting the patient’s survival.
“Today’s demonstration shows that health information systems that communicate with each other have the potential to save lives, especially in emergency situations. These technologies have great potential to improve health care in the United States,” said J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Ph.D., director of medical informatics at the Regenstrief Institute and president and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. Dr. Overhage is the Regenstrief Professor and a professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
The demonstration, which accessed data from Ohio, Minnesota, New York and Indiana, was conducted at the September meeting in Washington, D.C., of the American Health Information Community. AHIC is a federal advisory body, formed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to advance the development and adoption of health information technology.
“Being selected to conduct this trial implementation of the Nationwide Health Information Network recognizes Indiana’s leadership in health information technology,” said Dr. Overhage. “Given our experience with both the nuts and bolts and the big picture of health information exchange, we see the NHIN as a necessary and very achievable goal.”
About Regenstrief Institute: The Regenstrief Institute, Inc., an internationally recognized informatics and health-care research organization, is dedicated to the improvement of health through research that enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Established in Indianapolis by philanthropist Sam Regenstrief in 1969 on the campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Institute is supported by the Regenstrief Foundation and closely affiliated with the I.U. School of Medicine and the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana. Regenstrief Institute research scientists form a highly respected cadre of health services researchers linked to one of the largest and most comprehensive medical informatics laboratories in the world. www.regenstrief.org
About the Indiana Health Information Exchange: Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is a non-profit corporation formed by the Regenstrief Institute, private hospitals, local and state health departments, BioCrossroads and other prominent organizations in Indiana. It is dedicated to supporting communities by providing services that enable the right medical information to get to the right provider at the right time. To learn more, visit www.ihie.com.