April 04, 2013 22:25 ET

California Recognized as National Leader in Health Information Exchange Efforts

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 4, 2013) - California's eHealth Initiative team and its stakeholder partners have been recognized by the federal government for their efforts to enhance the safety and quality of health care by embracing the use of health information technology and exchange. California's improvement was recognized as one of the nation's top ten efforts in increasing electronic data exchange for clinical care.

"California's momentum continues to increase with HIE acceleration and expansion. We are proud and thrilled with this national recognition," said Pamela Lane, Deputy Secretary of Health Information Exchange and Director of the California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII). "Health information exchange enables more efficient and safer care by doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others who are able to utilize data where and when it's needed for patient care. We continue to be focused on making health information exchange a reality throughout the state."

California's eligible providers and hospitals have received over $1 billion to date in incentives from federal programs to assist in purchasing and using electronic health records to support better clinical outcomes. Federal goals for the use of EHRs include improved coordination of care as patients gain access to their own electronic medical records and become more active participants in preventive care or treatment for health conditions.

"But it's not enough to just have an EHR. These systems need to be interoperable -- able to electronically share patient data securely," said Lane. The state's efforts to enable disparate EHR systems to "talk" was the focus of the recent recognition from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). California's achievements were specifically cited in demonstrating and accelerating health information exchange (HIE) efforts using secure Directed Exchange and Query-based Exchange.

More information about ONC's Grantee Recognition Program and California's efforts is available at

The California Office of Health Information Integrity works in support of the California Health and Human Services' health information exchange (HIE) initiatives, oversees the collaborative statewide development and implementation of privacy and security policy for the electronic exchange of health information, enforces state law mandating the confidentiality of medical information and assists state government departments with uniform and cost effective HIPAA interpretation.

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