V.I. Health Department hosts open houses to introduce Health Information Exchange


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ST. CROIX - The V.I. Health Department is having open houses this week to help familiarize the community with the purpose of the Health Information Exchange network, which has been officially launched.

The territory's first Health Information Exchange network - which should not be confused with a health insurance exchange - is known as the Virgin Islands Health Information Network, according to a prepared statement Government House released.

A Health Information Exchange network allows for the sharing of medical records electronically.

The exchange is intended to enhance communication and coordination of care among health care providers.

Several health care providers already have registered for the Health Information Exchange network, according to Government House.

The V.I. Health Information Network is described as a secure electronic network that enables health care providers - hospitals, health centers, clinics, pharmacies, labs and other medical professionals - to exchange health information about patients for consultations, referrals, sharing and reporting.

V.I. Health Information Exchange network is spearheaded by the Health Department's Health Information Technology Division and Secure Exchange Solutions, a certified Health Information Service Provider.

With the product from Secure Exchange Solutions, V.I. providers will be able to share health care information faster, optimize transitions of care and referrals, and lower operating costs, according to Dan Kazzaz, CEO of Secure Exchange Solutions.

The exchange network will meet the national standard for the secure exchange of health care information, according to Government House.

The Office of National Coordinators awarded $1 million to the territory to help facilitate a territory-wide Health Information Exchange.

The grant enabled the V.I. Health Department to set up the information exchange in the territory by developing governance structures, technical services and capabilities, and policies required to support the infrastructure necessary to share electronic medical records among providers through information exchange.

Open houses for the community to become familiar with the purpose and benefits of the exchange are scheduled for:

- 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the second floor conference room at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas.

- 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at Charles Harwood Clinic in the first floor training room.

For more information about the health information exchange, go to the Health Department's website at www.healthvi.org/hie. The website also has links to webinars that have been posted about the technology and how to sign up for the exchange.

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