Three Midwest counties launch information exchange initiative
The counties of Bloomington, Ind., along with Clark and Champaign in Ohio are launching community health information exchanges (HIEs) by leveraging HealthBridge’s existing HIE technology infrastructure.

HealthBridge, an HIE provider for the greater Cincinnati tri-state area, will share its data centers and suppliers, clinical messaging system, services and staff and manage all resources for the HIEs for a monthly fee.

By utilizing HealthBridge’s infrastructure, a minimum of 50 percent of Clark and Champaign counties HIE physicians will be connected by the conclusion of 2008, according to the Cincinnati-based HealthBridge.

The two Ohio counties will use HealthBridge’s data suppliers as a resource for such projects as community repository, chronic disease management, PHR, e-prescribing and automated disease reporting.

The nine-county region comprising the Bloomington area has a 38 percent penetration rate of EMR systems as a result of a recent grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to rural safety-net providers.

Bloomington’s e-Health Collaborative will be effective as of October this year in conjunction with HealthBridge’s clinical messaging system, and the HIE expects 100 percent penetration by the end of 2008.