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HealthBridge Expands Health Information Exchange Capabilities

November 30, 2011

Cincinnati, OH, Carmel, IN, (November 30, 2011) – HealthBridge announced today its selection of Clinical Architecture’s Symedical® Server for its new advanced health information exchange (HIE) infrastructure. The selection of this new technology is part of a series of HIE infrastructure enhancements at HealthBridge aimed at improving information flow for patient care and prepare for new meaningful use and payment reform requirements.

The flow of information among different health care providers is critical to improving the quality of patient care and reducing unnecessary costs. As the use of electronic health record (EHR) systems grows, the ability to securely exchange information among different EHR systems must grow also. Too often different IT systems cannot share data easily because clinical terms and code sets are handled differently within each system.

For instance, a patient with diabetes may have had her blood tested by a number of providers, and every one of them may use a different EHR with a different code for hemoglobin A1c. A health care provider needs to know how a patient’s hemoglobin A1c has changed over time to ensure the patient is in good health. Yet, the inability to share information among different EHR systems could prevent providers from having a complete view of a patient’s information.

“Patients often get care from many different health care providers,” said Keith Hepp, interim CEO for HealthBridge. “That means that information systems that support patient care need to share information in a smart and highly reliable way. The software from Clinical Architecture will ensure that complex health information from different systems is translated and mapped appropriately for sound decision making.”

Clinical Architecture’s Symedical Server is software that in essence helps translate data accurately and quickly between information systems. This new software will enable the mapping, management and exchange of large, complex data sets among different systems, serving as a “Rosetta stone” that enables incompatible systems to “talk” to one another.

Clinical Architecture’s Symedical Server will also support health care provider’s quality improvement efforts by translating and mapping information from many different sources to a common set of codes that can be accurately and effectively evaluated, analyzed, and acted upon. This capability will be important for health care providers interested in forming an accountable care organization or participating in various payment reform initiatives.

“There’s more to health information exchange than just passing information between systems,” said Charlie Harp, CEO for Clinical Architecture. “HealthBridge is making a real difference in the lives of patients and their doctors by improving the quality and reliability of shared medical information. The advancements HealthBridge is making will improve care and reduce costs by giving providers a more complete picture of their patient’s health status.”

HealthBridge and a group of Greater Cincinnati partners are working together on the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration (GCBC), a collaboration aimed at dramatically impacting health care cost, quality outcomes and clinical improvements related to care transitions, pediatric asthma, and adult diabetes.  A key means of achieving the Beacon goals is more complete patient information for health care providers from across the community. This announcement is part of the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration’s effort to focus on care transitions, pediatric asthma, adult diabetes, and consumer engagement.

Greater Cincinnati is one of 17 innovative Beacon communities nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT to develop and showcase new models for health care transformation. For more resources and information on the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration, visit:

About HealthBridge

Founded in 1997, HealthBridge started as a regional effort to improve health care quality, by sharing health information electronically in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky tri-state area. Today, HealthBridge is recognized as one of the nation’s largest, most advanced and most financially sustainable health information exchanges (HIE). HealthBridge’s innovative information network has grown to encompass more than 50 hospitals, 800 physician practices and 7,500 physicians in five different communities in three states. HealthBridge’s secure electronic network sends roughly 3.2 million electronic messages per month, including clinical lab tests, radiology reports, discharge summaries and other information vital to better care for more than 2.5 million patients.

Support for the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration is provided under cooperative agreement 90BC0016-01 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

HealthBridge Contact:

Trudi Matthews
Director of Policy and Public Relations
(513) 247-5266

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