New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd announced today the launch of the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN), a statewide health information exchange that allows providers, hospitals and other health care stakeholders to share patient information securely and in real-time.
"A coordinated, statewide health information exchange system allows health care providers to keep track of patients' medications and test results, avoid unnecessary procedures and improve outcomes," said O'Dowd. "The network will enhance access to patient information, improves quality of care and reduces costs. In medical emergencies, access to a patient's medical and medication record could mean the difference between life and death."
The network also allows providers to get patients' immunization status and exchange that information in the event of a disease outbreak.
The Department used $11.6 million in federal funding to support the health information exchange through the development of regional health information organizations and the NJHIN.
The NJHIN connects six regional health information organizations (HIOs) into a single statewide system. Healthcare providers connect to the network through their regional HIO. The network connects approximately 9,000 providers, which will increase over time. The Department worked with the HIOs to create a standardized electronic platform making the exchange of patient and clinical information possible.
Data is exchanged among the six regional HIOs:
- Camden HIE - Connects Camden area providers
- Highlander (formerly known as) Health-e-cITi-NJ - Connects greater Newark area providers
- Jersey Health Connect - Connects northern and central NJ health care providers
- NJSHINE - Connects southern NJ healthcare providers
- Trenton HIE - Connects Trenton providers as a key tool in a community health improvement collaborative
- Virtua HIE - Connects Virtua, Kennedy Health System, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
The statewide health information exchange began in February with the successful exchange of information between Camden HIE, NJSHINE, Jersey Health Connect, Highlander and the Department of Health's Immunization Information System.
The Department also supported hospitals and providers in their efforts to receive $515 million in federal electronic health record incentive funding to increase the use of electronic health records in New Jersey. As part of its efforts, the Department modernized its Immunization Information System, its electronic laboratory reporting system and its disease surveillance system. Providers, in order to receive federal incentive funding, had to show they were able to meaningfully exchange data with at least one of these systems. In total, more than 9,000 providers received more than $184 million in incentive payments and 64 hospitals received more than $330 million in payments from the federal government.
"I am proud of the Department's work with New Jersey's provider community that allowed so many practices and institutions to receive federal payments to update their technology to help patients," added O'Dowd.