ATLANTA, GA – Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) is one of five health information exchange (HIE) organizations nationwide to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to help support state agencies in their efforts to respond to public health emergencies, including disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19. GaHIN, the state-designated HIE for Georgia, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a healthier Georgia through the use and exchange of electronic health information.
The funding was made through the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program. Each of the five recipients will work to improve HIE services so that public health agencies can better access, share and use health information during public health emergencies. These efforts will also support communities that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
GaHIN’s $500,000 two-year grant will be used to help the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia Department of Community Health better access, share and use electronic health information, especially data from populations underserved and/or disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes increasing the reporting to a state-wide COVID-19 registry and expanding public health reporting and data enrichment for providers not connected to GaHIN.
“We are very pleased that GaHIN was selected as just one of five HIEs to receive a grant,” said Dr. Denise Hines, executive director of GaHIN. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of electronic health information in addressing a public health crisis. We are keenly aware of the need to reach and serve underserved populations including veterans and minorities.”
Established in 2009, GaHIN has successfully connected members consisting of state and regional HIEs, hospital systems, physician groups and individual practitioners. The Georgia network currently has more than 39 million demographic 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 nationally with other providers who are using Direct. The organization’s two primary services are:
Georgia ConnectedCare features a robust patient search functionality that allows providers to quickly access patient health data from hospitals, physician practices, state health systems and more. This includes records such as medical history, previous diagnoses, lab test results, medications and allergies. Additionally, GaHIN provides access to Medicaid health, dental and pharmacy information managed by the Georgia Department of Community Health.
GeorgiaDirect is a secure email messaging service that lets providers send and receive authenticated and encrypted patient health information over the internet to other authorized and trusted recipients – both within Georgia and nationwide. Available to authorized, credentialed providers at no charge, GeorgiaDirect eliminates the administrative burden and costs incurred by phone calls and faxes while improving care coordination.
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 patient data 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 and Georgia ConnectedCare, connect providers statewide and nationally and are free for credentialed, authorized Georgia users. www.gahin.org