St. Rita’s Medical Center and Health Partners of Western Ohio First to Connect to Statewide HIE: December 21, 2011

For the first time in Ohio, a hospital is "live" on the statewide health information exchange (HIE) – CliniSync. Clinical patient data is moving from St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima to Health Partners of Western Ohio, a federally qualified health center, right into the physicians’ electronic health records (EHR) system.

"Today is a milestone, a very significant milestone, on a journey that started two years ago with a few hospitals, a couple of labs and a clinic. They wanted to improve the health of the community by simplifying health information flow," said Dr. Herbert Schumm, regional vice president of medical affairs at St. Rita’s and the president of the West Central Ohio Health Information Exchange (WCOHIE). "This exciting journey with the Ohio Health Information Partnership will continue to achieve these milestones for years to come."

Janis Sunderhaus, CEO of Health Partners of Western Ohio and a board member of WCOHIE for the past two years, said the connection to CliniSync marks the beginning of improved patient care for the entire community and region.

"A provider’s ability to have up-to-date health information about their patient is directly related to their ability to make the best care decisions. This is something anyone who has a chronic disease with several specialists or a person who has gotten sick on vacation knows very well,” Sunderhaus said. “Everyone’s health is improved when providers communicate more, whether it is across town or across the country. We are very happy to participate in this ground breaking effort to connect health care providers."

Health Partners of Western Ohio is a federally qualified health center that serves 14,000 underserved patients, providing primary medical, dental, behavioral health, chiropractic, and pharmacy services coordinated through the implementation of Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR.

The state’s vision of connecting all hospitals, physicians, labs and others so they can exchange patient health records electronically through the CliniSync HIE started with St. Rita’s but will eventually include other members of the regional partnership: Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, Lima Memorial Health System, Mercer County Joint Township Community Hospital, St. Rita’s Health Partners, Van Wert County Hospital, Lima Pathology Labs, Health Partners of Western Ohio, and Medlab with local physicians and other healthcare providers.

"Applying this federal funding to the purchase of health information technology is exactly what our federal leadership in the Office of the National Coordinator of HIT intended,” said Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership. “Doctors and hospitals in our rural areas and our underserved populations can now benefit from a statewide health information exchange that connects regional communities and eventually, the state of Ohio . This means better coordination of care for each patient and more information for every doctor."

Fred Richards, CIO and COO of the Partnership, said it took many partners working together to make this happen. "We have worked hard over the past year with Medicity, the vendor who provides the platform for the CliniSync infrastructure, and we’ve all come so far in this process. We also owe our thanks to Greenway, the EHR vendor at Health Partners, for responding so quickly to the needs of this rural community."

Medicity, a health information exchange vendor, is currently the HIE technology solution for several states under the HIE grant including Vermont , Colorado , Delaware , Mississippi . Medicity also is the software infrastructure behind regional health information exchanges such as Michigan’s Health Connect.

"We are very excited about the progress these organizations in Ohio are making toward connecting every health care provider in the state. Across both urban and rural settings – and regardless of the technology already in place in their offices – Ohio providers will now have access to better health information to enhance the care they offer patients," said Brent Dover, Medicity's president.

Greenway Medical Technologies Chief Operating Officer Greg Schulenburg said he’s pleased to see the progressive collaboration between clinical data and care coordination as it begins in Ohio . “We know the flow of data to physicians and hospitals improves patient outcomes and creates a more sustainable healthcare system in each region and in each state. We’re particularly happy to be working with our customer site, Health Partners of Western Ohio, Medicity, and with the Ohio Health Information Partnership as CliniSync unfolds across Ohio."

On December 1, the first "production" Direct messaging occurred across state lines, when communications occurred back and forth between physicians in Ohio and Mississippi through Ohio’s CliniSync and Mississippi’s MS-HIN. The Partnership selected Medicity as its vendor to create a platform for CliniSync and enable exchange using Direct Project protocols. Mississippi also uses Medicity as its health information exchange vendor.

In Ohio, there are healthcare providers who started sharing records electronically within the past decade and they have led the way in using technology to improve care and outcomes. However, these existing systems are closed networks within a health system or in specific regions. CliniSync marks the first time in the state that information can potentially be shared through a statewide HIE, from region to region.

For more information, go to www.CliniSync.org

For more information, contact:
Dottie Howe, M.A., M.Ed.
Director of Communications
Office: 614-664-2605
Cell: 614.314.4100
dhowe@ohiponline.org

Background Information:
About St. Rita's Medical Center
St. Rita's Medical Center, a member of Catholic Healthcare Partners, is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. St. Rita's Medical Center is a technologically advanced, comprehensive health care facility located in Lima , Ohio . A regional leader in health care, St. Rita's serves a 10-county area in Ohio and is the largest hospital in a 70-mile radius.

Starting as a 101-bed hospital in 1918, St. Rita's has grown to more than 400 beds including numerous specialty areas and some of the finest technology in the region. In addition to acute medical/surgical care, St. Rita's provides a wide range of health services including comprehensive emergency treatment and trauma services, addiction services, adult and adolescent psychiatric services, sports medicine, rehabilitation programs, cardiac, vascular and cancer treatment, diagnostic services and pediatric, obstetric and newborn care. Services are also provided through the Putnam County Ambulatory Care Center in Ottawa , Lincoln Medical Center in Wapakoneta, Delphos Ambulatory Care Center in Delphos, St. Rita’s Westside-Luke Urgent Care, St. Rita’s Eastside Urgent Care and St. Rita's Occupational Health Center in Lima . Services for low-income patients who do not have a family physician are provided through the MED-CARE Health Clinic.

About Medicity
Medicity, the industry standard for health information exchange (HIE), is the leading innovator and largest provider of HIE technology – with more than 750 hospitals and 250,000 end users in its connected ecosystem. Medicity’s solutions empower hospitals, physicians and HIEs with secure access to and exchange of health information – improving the quality and efficiency of patient care locally, regionally and nationally. For more information, please visit www.medicity.com or follow us on twitter.com/Medicity

About Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc.
Greenway Medical Technologies provides innovative EHR, ambulatory healthcare and clinical research business solutions and services to more than 33,000 healthcare providers nationwide, in 30 specialties and subspecialties, by enhancing the delivery of patient care through advanced health IT software and on-demand services that allow physician practices to function at their highest level of efficiency in group practice, IDN, REC, HIE, IPA, Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) settings. Established in 1998 in Carrolton, Georgia-based Greenway is a privately held company with more than 500 employees.

About the Ohio Health Information Partnership
The Ohio Health Information Partnership is a nonprofit, state-designated entity responsible for establishing regional extension centers to assist physicians and hospitals with information technology and for creating the infrastructure for a health information exchange in the state. Ohio has received $44,146,199 in federal funding including $14,872,199 for the health information exchange (CliniSync), $28.5 million for regional extension centers and $774,000 for critical access hospitals. The State of Ohio contributed $8 million when The Partnership first formed. The Partnership includes the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the State of Ohio . The partnership is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, grant numbers 90RC0012 and 90HT0024. Visit the Ohio Health Information Partnership at www.clinisync.org.

About Health Partners of Western Ohio
The Health Partners of Western Ohio is a private, nonprofit corporation that was formed by a group of community residents and health professionals in Lima , Ohio . The impetus for the formation of Health Partners came from the activities of the Healthy People 2000 in partnership with the City of Lima . Healthy People 2000 identified access to primary care services as a top priority and out of this program grew the formation of the Southside Health Center Development Committee and MUA/HPSA designations were obtained for five census tracks in south Lima . Health Partners was originally formed as Allen County Health Partners in October 2002 and applied to become a “New Access Point” (NAP) in December 2003, receiving funding December 1, 2004.

Partners established a small primary care site prior to 330 funding and opened their doors for the first time in July 2003 in donated space. Through the efforts of many volunteers, 5,000 square feet of an existing building was renovated to accommodate services. Following several successful fundraising and grant opportunities, Health Partners was able to purchase the 19,000 square foot building that was formerly owned by the Salvation Army, located in the impoverished Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood, to become the permanent home of Health Partners. Health Partners completely renovated the building to allow all needed primary care services to be offered at one site. The $2.5 million building project, which was completed over several phases, has allowed Health Partners to have 20 medical/behavioral health exam rooms, 9 dental operatories, 3 education rooms, on-site pharmacy, cancer/wellness education areas, group meeting area, administrative, and billing offices.
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