DHIN and Atlantic General Hospital Make History
Atlantic General Hospital is First Acute Care Hospital to Join Another State’s HIE
DOVER, DE – July 16, 2013 – In a move designed to better serve patients across the Delaware border, Atlantic General Hospital (AGH), based in Berlin, Md., made history this week when it joined the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN), becoming the first acute care hospital in the nation to join a Health Information Exchange (HIE) in another state.
According to AGH CFO Cheryl Nottingham, the step comes in response to the rising percentage of patients the hospital and its medical group serves from across the state border in Delaware.
“We’re very pleased to be connected with the Delaware Health Information Network. About 20 percent of the patients we treat in our emergency department are from Delaware, and having access to health information from Delaware hospitals affords another level of care that we can now provide to our patients,” she said.
Some of the patients treated by AGH come from emergency room visits made by people on vacation, while others are Delaware residents who choose to see doctors who practice at the AGH Health System.
“In just the six years since the launch of DHIN, the lines that define physical borders have blurred greatly when it comes to health care,” said Dr. Jan Lee, CEO of DHIN. “In some instances, patients become comfortable with a doctor, practice or hospital and develop a loyalty. Sometimes they are referred to a practitioner or specialist across a state line. Sometimes the patient or the doctor moves across the line. However it happens, the inclusion of those records in the patient’s file – regardless of zip code – can raise the speed and efficiency in which a patient is treated, and can even save lives.”
Through DHIN, AGH physicians involved in the care of Delaware residents will be able to see all of the previously generated medical results for that patient on the DHIN network, including pathology, laboratory, and radiology results dating back as far as 2007. The physician will also be able to use the system to receive laboratory results of tests that they order for their Delaware patients.
“This is the future: the seamless and secure exchange of health information across a borderless system,” said Lee. “It won’t all happen overnight, but this is a very, very exciting milestone, and we are pleased that DHIN and AGH have been able to make history here today.”
More hospitals from outside Delaware are expected to join DHIN in the coming months.
DHIN, the Delaware Health Information Network, is the first live, statewide health information network in the nation. Launched in 2007, today it serves all of Delaware’s acute care hospitals and approaching 100% of the State’s medical providers. More than 10,000,000 clinical results and reports are posted on DHIN each year. Total patient records in the system now exceed 1.5 million including patients from all 50 states. For more information about DHIN visit www.DHIN.org or call 302-678-0220. Please also visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@DHIN_hie).
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality healthcare to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) counties since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md., combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology and services. It provides quality specialty care such as weight loss surgery, orthopedics, and outpatient infusion for individuals with cancer or blood/autoimmune disorders, retina surgery and a comprehensive women’s diagnostic center. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.