Alaska Health Information Exchange Leading the Pack

“The right information, at the right time, to the right people.”
— Paul Cartland, State of Alaska Health Information Technology Coordinator

That was the message at this week’s Commonwealth North Health Care Action Coalition meeting provided an update on Alaska’s progress in implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems with presentations by Rebecca Madison, Executive Director of the Alaska eHealth Network and Paul Cartland, State Health Information Technology Coordinator.

The idea behind the health information exchange (HIE) is to make sure that providers are able to provide the best care possible thanks to the sharing of EHRs with other providers. The state is well underway in their efforts to implement these changes. The Fairbanks Pilot Project (Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Tanana Valley Clinic, and Tanana Chiefs Conference) for instituting the HIE is underway and expected to begin transmitting actual patient data among providers in about a month. For those who can afford it, HIE will eventually sync up with the national database and national immunization registry. Direct secure messaging (DSM) also provides for secure provider-to-provider exchange of EHRs.

To give an idea of the reach of the program, Cartland also provided an update of incentives authorized to date:

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently recognized Alaska for its leadership in implementing Health IT. Alaska remains one to watch as providers and hospitals go live in the coming months.