Written by Duncan West
Island Hospital and Medical Information Network - North Sound (MIN-NS) have been awarded $285,000 in a second round of funding to continue connecting health providers and patients in rural areas to providers of services outside their community.
This award is based upon MIN-NS’ success meeting grant goals during the first 12 months of the award, which runs for as many as 3 years. Read about the original grant award totaling almost one million dollars here. During the first year of the grant the funds were used to:
- Bring Whidbey General Hospital and Clinics into the MIN-NS Health Information Exchange. Based on records in the HIE, nearly one in four of the patients seen at the Whidbey Clinics and Hospital are also cared for at other MIN-NS subscribers such as Island Hospital and Clinics or Skagit Regional Health. HIE users on Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands and the mainland have accessed surgical and other care records to better coordinate the care of patients.
Because of the grant funded activity, the MIN-NS HIE has increased the value of the connections of legacy subscribers, and added other subscribers in rural and non-rural areas
- Connect the electronic medical records of Whidbey, Fidalgo, Orcas and Lopez Island based providers to Direct Secure Messaging, permitting them to attest for Meaningful Use payments and allowing them to securely communicate with providers and patients throughout the United States.
- Worked with rural providers and specialists who serve them to understand the medical and business complexities of supplying telehealth services.
During the next twelve months of freshly funded grant activity MIN-NS will:
- Expand and deepen the geographic and provider scope of the Health Information Exchange.
- Integrate telehealth tools into the MIN-NS HIE.
- Provide wider access to Direct Secure Messaging directories of regional and national providers.
The North Sound has a mix of urban, suburban, exurban and rural areas. MIN-NS is dedicated to ensuring that patients receive the benefit of coordinated care, regardless of where they choose to live. It is heartening when our successes in connecting rural providers and their patients are recognized and encouraged with funding to carry on.