Last updated: April 10. 2014 11:41AM - 607 Views
Staff report

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WHITEVILLE — Columbus Regional Healthcare System is providing the community with an electronic health record that offers a secure way for authorized members of the health care team to access its patients’ health information.

ColumbusConnect, powered by Carolinas Health Care System CareConnect, has partnered with Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange, which will link patient health information to medical providers throughout the area.

ColumbusConnect can securely share a patient’s information between health care organizations to coordinate and improve medical care. Information shared through the new connection can include lab, pathology and radiology results, the listing of current and previous medications, as well as documents from hospital and ER visits and related medical diagnosis.

Currently ColumbusConnect has 17 providers accessing information with long term goals of sharing between all healthcare providers. All providers in the county have been offered access to the exchange at no cost to them.

“We are pleased to offer this service of secure information sharing and coverage to providers and patients throughout our community by forming this new partnership with CHS CareConnect and Coastal Connect” says Henry Hawthorne, CEO of Columbus Regional. “Together, these combined capabilities will optimize our technology infrastructures to help reduce costs and increase access to electronic medical records. The HIE will ensure the rapid and secure sharing of patient healthcare information for the benefit of the patients and communities that we serve.”

Access to results through a secure and protected HIE environment can help eliminate duplicate testing, which saves patients and physicians time and money. The coordinated approach also offers participating physicians the ability to review patient medical histories prior to an appointment or emergency treatment. Getting patient information and results more quickly provides faster follow up and treatment if needed.

ColumbusConnect offers many benefits to patients but participation is voluntary. Patients can choose whether or not to have their medical information accessible to authorized health care providers. They are encouraged to speak to their doctor about the decision or to call the ColumbusConnect information line at 910-914-4443. More information regarding ColumbusConnect is also available at crhealthcare.org.

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