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HHS: States preparing to exchange health records after disasters

July 12, 2013

Four Gulf states have partnered with six states in the East and Midwest to help patients and providers access critical health information when they are unable to visit their regular doctors or hospitals after a hurricane or other widespread disaster, the Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday. The partnership will allow health information exchange programs in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia to exchange health information among providers caring for patients displaced from their homes. Using a tool that allows for the secure exchange of health information over the Internet, all of the HIE programs in the initiative have established at least one interstate connection and are working with other states, HHS said. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality also has published a guide that can help primary care clinicians connect their patients’ electronic health records to a local HIE hub and regional health information organizations, HHS said.