11 Oklahoma hospitals to share EHRs

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Eleven Oklahoma City-area hospitals will use a common network to share EHRs of patients who seek care in their emergency departments.

In a visit to Oklahoma City in April, U.S. Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department Mike Leavitt urged healthcare providers to move their medical records into an all-digital environment, according the Oklahoman.

The hospitals have agreed to a network that will use Secure Medical Records Transfer Network (SMRTNET) technology, developed by the Cherokee County Health Services Council, the Oklahoman reported. SMRTNET, in operation in northeast Oklahoma, operates with more than 400,000 medical records in that network.

“It seemed that that [SMRTNET] tool really fit the desire of those Oklahoma City hospitals,” Craig Jones, president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, told the Oklahoman. "After they looked at it and determined it would be cost effective to get it up and going and test it, that's why they jumped on it.”

The network will be facilitated by the hospital association, Jones said. The system is expected to be live by mid-September, according to the Oklahoman.

The 11 Oklahoma City-area hospitals participating in the initial implementation of the EHR sharing network are: Edmond Medical Center; Integris Baptist Medical Center; Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital; Integris Southwest Medical Center; Mercy Health Center; Midwest Regional Medical Center; Norman Regional Health System, which includes the Moore Medical Center; Oklahoma Heart Hospital; the OU Medical Center; and St. Anthony Hospital.

All of the participating hospitals are members of the Greater Oklahoma City Hospital Council, which is an affiliate of the Oklahoma Hospital Association.