In six years, the Big Bend Regional Healthcare Information Organization has amassed and digitized medical records of 500,000 individuals in Leon and eight surrounding counties. It expects to add 50,000 by the end of 2012.
Despite a national push to create digital medical records, today’s healthcare industry remains 90% paper-driven, says volunteer Executive Director Allen Byington, one of five founders of the organization. “It’s been estimated that physicians often have to make clinical decisions based on 60% of the available information,” Byington says. Digital networking, meanwhile, “is much safer, reduces clinical errors and improves the outcome,” he says. Instant availability can be especially critical in emergency rooms, enabling doctors to immediately see a patient’s history.
Byington — also CEO of broadband communications company Electronet, which he founded — says the non-profit organization has made the medical records available to 650 healthcare providers and expects to add 150 new “credentialed” providers by the end of next year. The organization has no established offices and outsources its digital record-keeping.
The organization is one of 12 health information exchange organizations cited for leadership in a recent National eHealth Collaborative report. It’s also among three picked to participate in Florida’s first statewide Health Information Exchange, planned by the Agency for Health Care Administration.
“We’ve created an architecture,” Byington says, “that allows information to flow electronically in real time and is able to display clinical information from multiple sources in a single longitudinal flow.”
Published Friday, November 18 on FloridaTrend.com [view article]