Atlantic General Hospital is the first hospital on the Eastern Shore to begin actively sharing patient demographic data and clinical test results through the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) health information exchange.
The CRISP health information exchange, or HIE, is one of many such exchanges being put into use across the country to allow hospitals and other health care organizations to share important diagnoses and treatment data about their patients. This exchange of data allows a given hospital’s clinical staff to quickly flesh out a medical history and establish the presence of any chronic illnesses or existing conditions for a patient who has arrived for care, which will dictate how they approach that person’s medical care.
In the case of Atlantic General who went live with CRISP on June 20, the exchange will be particularly useful in AGH’s emergency room, which cares for a large number of visitors, particularly during the summer months. Now, if a patient previously treated at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring arrives at Atlantic General Hospital’s emergency room, the clinical staff can quickly search the CRISP system and pull up any previous laboratory or imaging results.
This tool has the potential to reduce the need for redundant blood tests or further radiation exposure to collect an x-ray or other image.
The CRISP system will become more robust in time, eventually allowing for the exchange of diagnosis information in addition to test results and basic admission and discharge information.
“When clinical records are available at the point of care, patients receive more accurate and timely service,” said Barbara Riddell, the vice president of information services at Atlantic General. “This was accomplished with patient privacy and the security of private health information at the forefront of our minds at every step in the process.
Atlantic General Hospital joins nine of Maryland’s 48 hospitals that have already begun some level of patient information sharing through CRISP. Those hospitals are Holy Cross Hospital, Montgomery General Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Shady Grove Hospital, Sinai Hospital, Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Suburban Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, and Western Maryland Health System.
Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) has mandated that all Maryland hospitals connect with CRISP by December 1, 2011, with the minimum requirement of sharing hospital admission and discharge data for each patient.
Atlantic General Hospital leadership has made their participation in the health information exchange a priority, but not just for regulatory reasons. The organization recognizes the vast improvements to patient safety and quality that can be realized as well as the increased efficiency and lowered cost of care delivery.
“Health information exchange will also play a vital role in helping all participating healthcare organizations provide health management for an entire population,” said Michael Franklin, CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “In the future we will be able to identify patients at high risk through predictive analytics based upon all their healthcare interactions; and we can more effectively guide them through their care and disease prevention processes because we have a more complete picture of their medical history.”
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital, located in Berlin, Md., is a 62-bed acute care hospital that has served the residents and visitors of Worcester County and surrounding areas for the past 18years. It has grown with the needs of its community, now providing full service imaging, specialty breast care and joint replacement services as well as designated wound care and endoscopy centers, a sleep study center, full ophthalmic surgery services, bariatric procedures and many other services. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 25 primary care providers and specialists, cares for patients in Berlin, Ocean Pines, Ocean City, Snow Hill and Pocomoke City, Md. as well as Ocean View and Selbyville, Del. For more information, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.
CRISP is formally designated Maryland’s statewide HIE by the Maryland Health Care Commission, as directed by the state’s legislature and Gov. Martin O’Malley. CRISP has also been named Maryland’s Regional Extension Center (REC) by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), with an objective of assisting 1,000 primary care providers to deploy Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and achieve meaningful use by 2012.
CRISP is a not-for-profit membership corporation advised by a wide range of stakeholders responsible for the healthcare of Maryland’s citizens. We receive input and advice from patients; hospital systems; physicians; insurance providers; technology providers; privacy advocates; public health officials; and advocates for seniors, the uninsured, and the medically underserved.
Together, CRISP’s REC and HIE efforts serve to advance health and wellness of Marylanders by helping healthcare providers to EHRs in a meaningful way and enabling those providers to share clinical data with other providers and hospital systems across the state.
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