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Region’s First Health Information Exchange Begins Sharing Patient Records to Improve Care in Western Pa.  

PITTSBURGH, June 25 – Patients at Heritage Valley Health System and Butler Health System will be among the first to benefit from the launch of ClinicalConnect, western Pennsylvania’s first health information exchange, or HIE.
Announced nearly a year ago by nine of the region’s leading health care providers, ClinicalConnect now allows some clinicians at Heritage Valley and Butler to see critical patient information from hospitals connected to the HIE. The goal is to improve the quality and coordination of care for patients as they move among hospital systems.
 
Over the next year, all ClinicalConnect members will have the ability to securely share and view clinical records to better treat patients. In addition to Heritage Valley and Butler, the HIE’s founding members include Altoona Regional Health System, ACMH Hospital, Excela Health, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, St. Clair Hospital, The Washington Hospital and UPMC.
ClinicalConnect gives clinicians immediate access to such vital patient information as allergies, medications, lab results, past hospitalizations, immunizations and other data that might affect clinical decisions. “We now have potentially life-saving information at our fingertips for a patient we’ve never seen before in our emergency room but who, for example, may have been treated in the past at UPMC or Butler Health System,” said Norm Mitry, president and chief executive officer of Heritage Valley Health System and chairman of ClinicalConnect.
 
“ClinicalConnect allows critical information to move with the patient and lets physicians and nurses focus on providing the best possible care, instead of the time-consuming task of tracking down patient data through phone calls and faxes,” said Thomas McGill, M.D., vice president of quality and safety at Butler Health System and chair of the ClinicalConnect quality subcommittee.
 
Expected to be one of the largest HIEs in the state—with more than 7 million unique patient records-- ClinicalConnect will benefit patients by reducing unnecessary testing, delays and costs; increasing the use of preventive care and chronic illness management programs, and assisting efforts to track and improve public health. Longer-term, the exchange is expected to be connected to federal and state data-sharing systems. 
 
Access to a patient’s medical record through ClinicalConnect will depend upon a patient’s consent to participate during registration at participating hospitals and health systems.
 
For more information about ClinicalConnect, visit www.clinicalconnecthie.com

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