Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Joins Georgia’s Statewide Electronic Health Information Exchange

 In Press

Georgia’s largest children’s hospital integrates with GaHIN’s secure network to improve patient-centered care and health outcomes

Atlanta, Georgia (September 24, 2014) – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) joins the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the statewide health information exchange network that electronically connects Georgia hospitals, physicians and clinicians to safely and securely exchange patient health information. Connecting to GaHIN allows Children’s to further augment its continuity of care while improving access to a patient’s information for diagnosis and treatment. Children’s has integrated GaHIN’s Georgia ConnectedCare product into its Health Information Exchange (HIE) application—Care Everywhere—to help improve patient safety and reduce potential medication and medical errors.

“Up until recently, patient health information has been difficult to share and access across varying care settings in disparate locations,” said Denise Hines, executive director of GaHIN. “As one of the state’s leading health systems, Children’s is a valued member and further expands the Network’s reach throughout Georgia. By connecting Children’s to GaHIN, its care delivery teams can more readily access comprehensive and up-to-date patient information both statewide and nationwide.”

Donna Hyland, president and CEO of Children’s, is a member of the Executive Committee for GaHIN’s Board of Directors, which further demonstrates Children’s alignment with GaHIN’s goals to create a healthier Georgia through the use and secure exchange of electronic health information. “Children’s participation in the statewide health information exchange network will allow us to further improve quality and patient safety as we lead improvements in pediatric medicine,” said Hyland.

Through GaHIN, providers at Children’s can improve both direct care delivery and coordination by having ever-present access to clinical information, such as medical history, previous diagnoses, lab tests, medications and allergies. Additionally, access is available to Medicaid health, dental and pharmacy information managed by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Staff members at Children’s have already found that the HIE application tool helps them provide a more comprehensive patient experience. Heather Marney, Optimization and Support Manager for Children’s, shared her interactions with clinical staff at Children’s North Point Urgent Care Center. “When I showed the triage nurse how to pull in the records from my daughter’s pediatrician in Florida, she loved it. She was particularly excited about seeing the immunizations. For patients moving or visiting from out of state, access to this information is invaluable.”

GaHIN is helping to transform the quality of care for—and the health of—Georgians and has successfully connected members, which are comprised of regional HIEs, hospital systems, physician groups and individual practitioners. The Network currently reaches counties across the entire state and has over 16 million patient records accessible to providers. GaHIN is connected to the national eHealth Exchange and is also a member of DirectTrust, which enables its members to securely exchange information both state and nationwide. GaHIN’s Georgia ConnectedCare and GeorgiaDirect products help its members achieve Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2.

Children’s is a not-for-profit health care system that includes: three hospitals (Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite) with 561 licensed beds; 24 neighborhood locations (five Urgent Care centers and Marcus Autism Center); 43 statewide telemedicine locations; and more than 40 pediatric cardiologists at 20 statewide locations. The largest pediatric hospital in the state, Children’s provides access to more than 1,800 pediatric physicians and practitioners representing more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs.

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About Georgia Health Information Network
The Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use and exchange of electronic health information to foster a healthier Georgia, improve patient-centered healthcare, increase efficiency and promote the health status of the entire state population. GaHIN’s purpose is to close the patient information gap across all care settings by electronically connecting disparate systems and data sources to support improved quality of care, better health outcomes and reductions in cost. www.gahin.org.

About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 850,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 24 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world.

Media Contacts:
Cheryl Monkhouse, cmonkhouse@sapient.com, 404-822-2036
Patty Gregory, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, patty.gregory@choa.org, 404-785-7618

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