Union Hospital of Elkton, Maryland Joins the Delaware Health Information Network
Access to health records expected to improve care for patients in two states
DOVER, DE – August 26, 2013 Union Hospital of Cecil County has agreed to become a full member of the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) as the second out-of-state hospital to participate in Delaware’s health information exchange. In a move designed to better serve patients whose medical care crosses the nearby Maryland/Delaware border, Union Hospital will be posting medical information about its Delaware patients to the DHIN database. This will provide a more complete community health record for Delaware residents who receive treatment there.
Physicians and surgeons at Union Hospital will also have access to the medical results and reports for their patients in the DHIN database. That will provide a broader picture of the care previously provided to Delaware patients that are treated at Union as well as for the Maryland patients who have received treatment in Delaware.
“The lines that define state borders have blurred greatly when it comes to health care,” said Dr. Jan Lee, DHIN Executive Director. “Patients are frequently referred to a physician or specialist across a state line. The inclusion of those medical results in the patient’s file – regardless of zip code – can raise the speed and efficiency with which a patient is treated, and can even save lives.”
According to Laurie Beyer, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Union Hospital, the agreement comes in response to the large number of patients the hospital and its medical group serves from across the state border. “We are very pleased to be connected with the Delaware Health Information Network. A high percentage of the patients we treat at Union Hospital are from Delaware, and having the ability to view their health history will enable us to treat those patients much more effectively. It will also reduce the time and effort needed to field requests and fax or mail results to and from Delaware physicians for shared patients, which will result in better care,” she said.
Union Hospital is the second hospital in Maryland to join DHIN. In June, Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin became the first acute care hospital in the nation to join a Health Information Exchange (HIE) in another state. Additional hospitals from outside Delaware are expected to join DHIN in the coming months as well.
Through DHIN, UHCC 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 physicians will also be able to use the system to receive laboratory results of tests that they order for their Delaware patients.
“The future of medical reporting is the seamless and secure exchange of health information across a borderless system,” said Dr. Lee. “It won’t all happen overnight, but we are making good progress by signing this important agreement.”
All acute care hospitals in the state of Delaware participate with DHIN as data senders. In addition to Delaware hospitals, many laboratory and medical imaging firms participate in DHIN, providing their results to the database. Over 11 million deliveries of medical results and reports are made through DHIN each year, helping medical professionals provide better care more efficiently.
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 11,000,000 clinical results and reports are posted on DHIN each year. Total patient records in the system now exceed 1.6 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 Union Hospital
Union Hospital is an award-winning, full-service community hospital located in Elkton, Maryland. Nationally recognized for clinical excellence in the treatment and prevention of disease, its 122-bed, not-for-profit facility is dedicated to providing superior, personalized, quality health care to its neighbors, families and friends. The Hospital’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of residents in Cecil County and neighboring communities. Its services combine the latest technology with the warm, personal touch patients expect from a community hospital. Union Hospital has served the residents of Cecil County and the neighboring communities in Delaware and southern Pennsylvania since 1908. For more information, go to: https://www.uhcc.com