RHIO dawns in San Diego
San Diego County has implemented the San Diego Medical Information Network Exchange (SD MINE) which is a regional health information organization (RHIO) designed to improving patient care, bring down costs, and assist over 10,000 health care professionals.

The project has been coordinated by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) Foundation which selected Sun Microsystems to supply its Sun Java Integration Suite. With the system, the SD MINE will be able to intelligently and securely cross-match patient data from disparate points of care into a single patient record that is accessible to all organizations within the RHIO.

When fully operational, the RHIO will gather patient information from 35 hospitals, 7,000 physicians, more than 70 clinics, 378 pharmacies, community labs, radiology facilities, nursing homes, healthplans and public health information systems for the county's three million residents.

Some similar initiatives have run into budget overruns and implementation issues because of the use of multiple technology solution providers

Over the next three months, the SDCMS Foundation will roll out the project in phases, depending on urgency. Most likely, first-round projects will include credentialing programs and connecting emergency. Additionally, the initial efforts would also focus on the development of a clinical messaging system to efficiently track hospitalized patients; a community-wide bridge to immunization and diabetes registries; and a single portal for patient education, allowing patients quick and easy access to eligibility, balance-due verification and various healthcare resources.

RHIOs are considered an essential move towards the development of a nationwide interoperable health information network that can benefit all Americans.