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Texas Health Resources, Children’s Medical Center Establish Secure Health Information Exchange
04/27/2010

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources and Children’s Medical Center today announced the ability to electronically exchange medical information on a mutually-treated patient. This is now possible through a secure health information exchange product provided by Epic Systems Corporation, and is the first such exchange in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The ability to share such information allows providers to have the necessary data to treat their patients without having to wait for records or duplicate tests. The first patient to benefit from this was seen for specialty care at Children’s. With the secure health information exchange, records from past treatments at any Texas Health hospital and clinics are immediately transferred to Children’s. The records are then immediately available within the Children’s electronic health record and do not require manual transcription or faxing.

“I am proud that our hospitals have reached this milestone together,” said Ed Marx, chief information officer for Texas Health Resources. “It has always been our goal to work with other hospitals in the area to securely exchange information so patients can receive quality care in a timely manner.”

“While the electronic exchange of medical information appears to be a technology challenge, the larger challenge frequently proves to be processes and investment,” said Pamela Arora, chief information officer for Children’s Medical Center Dallas. “In addition to a great partnership such as Epic, success requires the coming together of clinical, finance, compliance, and legal leadership around the changes within their own organization, and then gaining comfort with their partners' processes delivering care in the community. Children's has been very supportive of investing in an Electronic Medical Record foundation and sharing medical records with caregivers in the community. It has been a pleasure working with a like-minded organization like Texas Health Resources on this important milestone.”

The Texas Health Resources and Children’s Medical solution was carefully designed to meet all federal and state standards for privacy and security of confidential patient health information.

This ability to securely share medical information is also a critical element for participating in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act financial incentives for the adoption and use of health information technology by Medicare and Medicaid providers.

“Patients and parents will find this new resource helpful,” said Marx. “Doctors won’t have to duplicate recent tests, will immediately know of any medicines prescribed at previous hospital visits and will be able to determine a course of action with accurate information.”

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health is a partner in eight additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health SingleSource Staffing is a joint venture designed to help Texas Health hospitals improve patient care by recruiting and retaining quality nurses and allied healthcare professionals. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

About Children's Medical Center
The Children's Medical Center pediatric healthcare system devotes itself solely to caring for the complex medical needs of children. The hospital is ranked among the nation's top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, and its nursing services rank in the top 5 percent of the nation's hospitals for nursing excellence. Children's was the state's first pediatric hospital with Level 1 Trauma status. Through its academic affiliation with UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Children's medical staff conducts research that is instrumental in developing treatments, therapies, and greater understanding of pediatric diseases and trains more than 200 pediatric residents and fellows annually. Children's is private, not-for-profit, and is the eighth largest pediatric healthcare provider in the country with 559 licensed beds, two full-service campuses and 10 outpatient sites. Many of the more than 50 specialty programs of the Children's system have received national and international recognition, confirming a stellar reputation for Children's and UT Southwestern Medical Center as one of the finest pediatric healthcare providers in the U.S. For more information, visit childrens.com.

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