GAINESVILLE - Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is among this year's InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation's most innovative users of business technology. NGHS also made the list in 2011 and 2012.
NGHS is recognized for its innovative health information and image exchange project, HealtheConnection, which was implemented in November 2012. NGHS spearheaded an initiative to deliver real-time, relevant clinical data to clinicians at the point of care, eliminating organizational or geographic boundaries.
A significant challenge of supporting a patient across multiple healthcare organizations and communities is caused by the patient's medical record being held at the physical location where care is delivered. In order for a physician to get insight into the complete history and care of a patient, records must be requested from each organization that provided care, adding steps and potential delays in care that could threaten the patient's health.
The first phase of the project established a way to share electronically imaging studies and results, one of the most complex pieces of medical information to exchange. This part was made possible through a community collaborative of healthcare providers that includes The Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic, Northeast Georgia Heart Center, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Northeast Georgia Physicians Group. During a later stage of the project, additional clinical data such as patient information, lab result data and other transcribed results were also electronically shared within the collaborative.
Currently, more than 450 clinicians and operational staff use this technology to access information and treat patients. More than 2.9 million imaging studies have been accessed through the exchange and more than 240,000 patient records are collected in the health information exchange. The results of HealtheConnection are improved efficiency, more coordinated care, real-time consults and access to clinical information across multiple organizations.
"The theme of this year's InformationWeek 500 is digital business," said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. "It's a movement, rooted in data analytics, mobile computing, social networking and other customer-focused technologies that are turning companies and industries on their ear. Every enterprise is now a digital business