State prepares to launch health information exchange

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This fall, after more than a decade of false starts, shifting plans and millions of dollars spent, Connecticut will launch its statewide health information exchange, a single repository of medical data that can be accessed by any provider involved in a patient’s care.The long-anticipated system is arriving at a critical time: the need for up-to-the-minute, robust patient information has become more pressing as COVID-19 continues its grisly march through the state. The exchange is designed to reduce duplicative services, prevent medical errors and improve care.But even as the move is regarded as an important step forward, leaders of the most recent push to form the network have been frustrated with the pace of progress. Three previous attempts collapsed in failure, leaving Connecticut without an all-inclusive data sharing system when the pandemic hit last winter.Meanwhile, other states have used their information exchanges, known as HIEs, to trace outbreaks in nursing homes, to identify COVID-19 hotspots in communities, to analyze data on race and ethnicity and to help agencies, like public health departments and regional health districts, access more extensive patient information in the midst of an emergency.”I just wonder how many people could have been saved, …

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