Since 2004, when the state of Maine began work on a state health information exchange (HIE) in an effort to bring together disparate healthcare organizations and meet federal calls to implement more effective real-time public health event monitoring and to enable rapid response, the ultimate goal of the HIE has been to enable healthcare organizations to:
- Enhance and improve the overall quality of clinical care
- Minimize service duplication
- Identify public health threats better
- Improve administrative and clinical efficiency
- Improve patient safety
- Increase and expand consumers’ access to their own healthcare information
Maine’s HIE has been using DrFirst for informational processes coordination and has high expectations for the future. “The state health information exchange is currently in the “demonstration” phase of development and implementation, but is expected to save the state of Maine $10.6M in 2010 and nearly $20M by the time complete implementation is realized in 2011.” The projected savings in Maine should be an indicator of the similar savings that could be realized in all states with the adoption of health information technology systems.
Explaining how the nation’s largest state Health Information Exchange remains federally compliant, this article indicates the promising future of the HIE in Maine.