Last week, in a joint release with the New Jersey Department of Health, we announced that the Camden Coalition Health Information Exchange (HIE) has joined a statewide data exchange system that aims to increase efficiency and improve care throughout the Garden State. The Department of Health has seen more than half the states’ hospitals connected to the New Jersey Health Information Network (NJHIN) since Governor Phil Murphy assumed office in January.

“By the end of next year, our goal is to have all of New Jersey’s hospitals connected to the HIN to make it easier for providers to keep track of patients’ medications and test results, fill in gaps in patients’ health histories, and avoid unnecessary procedures,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.

Launched in 2010, the Camden Coalition HIE is a collaborative data-sharing effort to improve care delivery in Camden. It’s a web-based application that offers Camden and regional healthcare providers real-time access to important medical information for patients right from their computers. For Camden Coalition staff, data from the HIE can identify individuals eligible for enrollment in the Coalition’s intervention programs. It can also guide us in the design of new initiatives and help us evaluate our existing programs.

For providers, having access to shared clinical information fosters improved care coordination and reduces unnecessary, costly duplication. Our HIE hospital partners are Cooper University Health Care, Lourdes Health System, Virtua Health, and Jefferson Health’s three New Jersey hospitals. With the move, the members of the Camden Coalition HIE are now participating in the NJHIN.

“We’re delighted to join our partners across the state working to make New Jersey a leader in data-driven healthcare, especially for some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Camden Coalition CEO Kathleen Noonan. “Alongside Trenton Health Team and Healthy Greater Newark, we have been using data to bring together partners to drive healthcare innovation within the region. Becoming a part of the NJHIN is the next step in our collaborative journey toward better health throughout New Jersey.”

The Department of Health has been working with New Jersey Institute of Technology’s New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) to connect every hospital in the state and ensure interoperability in electronic records. “The successful exchange of patient data through NJHIN means improved care coordination between providers and better outcomes for patients,” said Tomas Gregorio, senior executive director of Healthcare Delivery Systems iLab, NJII.

Officials at the Department of Health say the NJHIN can also potentially make it easier for patients to access their own health data through innovative applications.

“As a consumer with a loved one with multiple health issues, I know firsthand the value of interoperability and electronic exchange of health records,” Department of Health Chief Information Officer and HIN Coordinator Eileen Troutman said. “Navigating the healthcare spectrum and ensuring a loved one’s information is available across medical facilities is paramount to not only ensuring full medical history is available at all times but also peace of mind for family members and caregivers.”

Adapted from a joint press release issued by the NJ Department of Health and the Camden Coalition. Thanks to Nicole Kirgan at the Department of Health.

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