Patient Records Network Expanding; in the Hospital; BJC Healthcare, Mercy and SSM Healthcare Are among Participants

By Munz, Michele | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Patient Records Network Expanding; in the Hospital; BJC Healthcare, Mercy and SSM Healthcare Are among Participants


Munz, Michele, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The largest health care systems in Missouri are the first to participate in a statewide network that will allow health care providers to share electronic patient records with one another.

BJC Healthcare, Mercy and SSM Healthcare-which provide almost 40 percent of inpatient care in Missouri - are working with outstate providers Burrell Behavioral Health and Nevada Medical Clinic to begin a health information network.

The aim of the network is to improve care, safety and efficiency by reducing errors and duplicating services. For example, if you live in St. Charles but get sick while on vacation in Branson, the doctor would be able to immediately access your medical history from your physician in St. Charles. Or if you end up in an emergency room unable to communicate, the doctor could access your current medications and allergies.

The effort has been in the works since spring 2011 with the formation of the Missouri Health Connection, a nonprofit governed by a board that includes members of state government, healthcare organizations, private practice physicians and consumer groups.

Missouri Health Connection "will empower physicians to provide care, whenever and wherever it's needed, armed with secure, real- time patient information," said director Mary Kasal. …

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