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Regional Health Coalition Wins $100,000 Grant for e-Data Exchange

July 21, 2004

Regional Health Coalition Wins $100,000 Grant for e-Data Exchange

A coalition of the Baltimore-Washington region’s major academic healthcare systems – Johns Hopkins Medicine, University of Maryland Medicine, and MedStar Health – in collaboration with private practice physicians and community hospitals has been awarded a $100,000 planning grant from the Foundation for eHealth Initiative to develop a local electronic health data exchange to improve the quality of health care delivery and reduce health care costs through the use of information technology.

The Maryland/D.C. Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology was one of nine communities nationwide culled from a pool of 134 applicants to receive more than $2 million in funding through the Connecting Communities for Better Health (CCBH) program and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The coalition intends to undertake a five-year pilot project in Howard County, Md., to establish a community data exchange that will serve as a “learning laboratory” for physicians, other health-care providers and hospitals who are given protected electronic access to patient records.

The Maryland/D.C. project has the support of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Its 10-year plan is to link all components in the health care delivery chain – physician offices, hospitals, clinics, labs, imaging centers, nursing homes, payors and patients – to appropriate and secure health information.

Such a regional electronic health data network could enhance secure communication of patient data, improve quality of care and patient safety, advance disease-management capabilities, increase patient and provider satisfaction, reduce costs, and heighten bio-surveillance and early detection preparedness.