Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) Receives Federal Grant

ATLANTA, GA – September 29, 2015 – Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) is one of 10 community programs nationwide to receive a $100,000 grant designed to boost health data exchange efforts from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). GaHIN is the statewide health information exchange (HIE) for Georgia.

GaHIN will use the funds to develop and implement a healthcare technology training program for care providers in Georgia’s rural school clinics. In June 2015, the nonprofit Georgia Partnership For TeleHealth (GPT) joined GaHIN, allowing participating school systems to securely exchange information with more than 7,000 Georgia healthcare providers, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the state’s largest pediatric healthcare system. GaHIN also provides access to Georgia’s immunization registry.

GPT’s Rural School-Based Telehealth Center Initiative is focused on providing greater access to care for students who otherwise would have to miss school or face long drives to a specialist. School nurses use medical devices equipped with cameras to share data and images with healthcare providers, who view the information on a computer screen at their offices.

“We are very pleased that GaHIN was among the small handful of community health resources to receive a grant,” said Denise Hines, executive director of GaHIN. “Care providers in these school clinics generally are not accustomed to working with an electronic health record (EHR). By increasing the number who are trained in using the technology, we can better serve Georgia’s children and help equalize technology and care disparities between rural and urban areas.”

"These important investments should help with the flow of health information to individuals no matter the care setting in which they receive care,” said Thomas Mason, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for ONC, in a statement about the grant awards. “These awards will also foster an interoperable learning health system—truly linking the traditional health care system with community and social support— resulting in healthier people and communities. These efforts will support the goals of a nationwide learning health system where data is harmonized across organizations and available to the right people at the right time and in the right place to create healthy individuals and communities.”

Established in 2009, GaHIN has successfully connected members consisting of regional HIEs, hospital systems, physician groups and individual practitioners. GaHIN currently has more than 18 million demographic patient records accessible to providers, each representing a single encounter with a healthcare provider. GaHIN is connected to the national eHealth Exchange and is also a member of DirectTrust, which enables its members to securely exchange information nationally with other providers who are using Direct. GaHIN’s products, Georgia ConnectedCare and GeorgiaDirect, help its members achieve Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2.

About Georgia Health Information Network

Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a healthier Georgia by facilitating the use and secure exchange of electronic health information so providers have the information they need at the point of care. The result is improved quality of care, better health outcomes and reductions in cost. GaHIN’s two products, GeorgiaDirect (powered by Medicity) and Georgia ConnectedCare (powered by Truven Health Analytics) connect providers statewide and nationally and are free for credentialed, authorized Georgia users. www.gahin.org

Media Contact:                

Lynn Hood, GaHIN, lhood@gahin.com, 678-427-5040