AT&T, Tennessee building statewide e-health network
ORLANDO—The state of Tennessee has partnered with AT&T to create a statewide health information exchange, which if successful, would be the first in the United States. The announcement was released at the 2008 HIMSS conference.

The collaboration will produce the Tennessee Information Infrastructure eHealth Exchange Zone, an initiative which AT&T said will enable increased patient safety, reduced spending and improved quality of care for the state's 6 million residents.

The Exchange Zone will have an AT&T secure online collaboration center—a Virtual Private Network (VPN)-based portal which supports HIPAA privacy requirements—designed to allow doctors to access medical histories, prescribe medicines over the internet and transfer images such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans.

AT&T plans to actively work with the state and healthcare providers in building the network, whose applications will be phased in as participation grows, Diane Turcane, director of healthcare market, AT&T, told Health Imaging News. “This will truly be a collaborative effort,” she said.

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said the goal of the collaboration is to accurately and effectively deliver information to healthcare providers at the point of care, which he said will improve the quality of healthcare provided to the citizens of Tennessee. “If a patient's medical history and record of care are available to the hospital, laboratory, pharmacy or physician, then they will ultimately receive better and more cost-effective medical care.”
"The eHealth network is driven by what each provider needs,” Turcane said. “It offers anytime, anywhere delivery of care and information to patients, healthcare communities and the state of Tennessee, which ultimately reduces cost and improves quality.”

The Tennessee eHealth Exchange Zone provides secure, high-speed broadband connectivity via a VPN available in all 95 counties in Tennessee. For more information on the Tennessee eHealth Exchange Zone, visit