SOURCE: Mirth Corporation

Mirth Corporation

February 23, 2010 10:48 ET

Thayer County Health Services and Redwood MedNet Demonstrate "Network of Networks" Using Mirth Corporation's Meaningful Use Exchange™

Two Rural Health Information Exchanges Cross-Connect Their Networks to Make Patient Information Available to Healthcare Providers Upon Request, Where and When It's Needed

IRVINE, CA, HEBRON, NE, and UKIAH, CA--(Marketwire - February 23, 2010) - Mirth Corporation, the leader in commercial open source healthcare information technology, working with partners at regional Health Information Exchanges and Hospital Systems, announced a successful demonstration of "the Health Internet" -- a network of networks through which patient data can be safely and rapidly exchanged to place critical information at clinician fingertips where and when it's needed.

By using Mirth's Meaningful Use Exchange (Mirth MUx) -- built on the foundation of the open source CONNECT software developed by the Federal Health Architecture program under the Office of the National Coordinator -- California-based Redwood MedNet and Nebraska-based Thayer County Health Services securely bridged their respective Health Information Exchanges. They safely and successfully exchanged live patient records -- the first such demonstration to take place between health information exchanges in the U.S. using the CONNECT software. The successful demonstration showed how patient laboratory information, medication history, and continuity of care documents (CCDs) can be made available in real-time to improve patient care and eliminate costly duplication of services such as laboratory tests.

"When doctors in the Emergency Departments and Urgent Care clinics have access to patient allergy and medication data we reduce adverse events and keep patients safer," said Joyce Beck, CEO of Thayer County Health Services. "When community-based physicians have access to recent lab and test results from across town or across the country we eliminate costly and wasteful duplication, saving everyone time and money. Our Mirth MUx demonstration shows we have the technology -- and no more excuses for not making this happen for our patients."

"Patients in our rural north coast region travel south to the Bay Area to see specialists," said Will Ross, project director at Redwood MedNet. "And visitors to our wine region and beautiful coastline, where tourism is one of our major industries, sometimes need healthcare services while they are here. Our simple demonstration of cross country health information exchange shows that American healthcare can soon begin to operate like every other service industry by making appropriate information available to the health professionals who need it in secure electronic formats. As we are all patients at some time, we all will benefit from better care that the 'Health Internet' will enable."

The cross country health data demonstration began on January 29th when a patient went to an office visit at Thayer County Health Services. That office visit was documented by an encounter note listing current medications and a new laboratory test. Then, in the first week of February, the patient took a sightseeing vacation to visit the Redwood rain forest on the north coast of California. The patient scheduled an office visit on February 5th at Alliance Medical Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Healdsburg, California. During the patient visit, Redwood MedNet enabled the clinic staff at Alliance to download the patient medication history and lab test from the office visit the prior week at Thayer County Health Services by using the Mirth MUx CONNECT gateway. During the office visit in Healdsburg, the Alliance physician noted the patient's prior lab test and medication history from Nebraska. On the basis of this data the physician decided that a different laboratory test was needed. After the office visit the patient walked next door to the laboratory at Healdsburg District Hospital for the new lab test. Within 45 minutes the electronic lab test result had been pushed from the hospital lab to Alliance Medical Center via Redwood MedNet, and the test result was also instantly available via the Mirth MUx CONNECT gateway to the patient's primary care provider in Nebraska.

Since its launch as the Mirth Project in 2006, Mirth Connect -- a core component of Mirth MUx -- has become the most widely downloaded open source software for healthcare data integration, with over 70,000 worldwide downloads and a user community numbering over 7,000 professionals. Mirth Connect supports all major healthcare data interchange standards, including HL7, X12, DICOM, NCPDP, and XML.

"The Health Internet is here," commented Jon Teichrow, president of Mirth Corporation. "When we launched Mirth as an open source project in 2006, our vision was to tap the power of the broad healthcare community and emerging open source Internet technologies to accelerate the ability to interconnect systems of care, and unlock the power of data tucked away in propriety 'siloed' systems. We didn't envision getting there in as little as four years, but we have through partnerships with leaders such as Redwood MedNet and Thayer. By building on the Federal Health Architecture's CONNECT solution in creating Mirth MUx we have shown that HIEs and health systems can inter-connect with each other directly, or via the Nationwide Health Information Network, or NHIN."

About Thayer County Health Services & SENHIE

Thayer County Health Services (THCS) is a 19 bed Critical Access Hospital and rural health clinics in Southeast Nebraska. As a result of a FLEX-CAH HIT grant TCHS became entirely electronic and formed Southeast Nebraska Health Information Exchange (SENHIE). SENHIE continues to be a leader in EMR adoption in rural Nebraska. SENHIE has documented the positive patient safety outcomes as a result of EMR adoption is and a strong advocate for EMR adoption and nationwide interoperability. For more information, see www.thayercountyhealth.com.

About Redwood MedNet

Redwood MedNet was formed as a community nonprofit corporation in 2004 in Mendocino County, California by local physicians. Redwood MedNet began delivering electronic laboratory results in 2008 in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties, expanded to radiology results in 2009, and in 2010 will expand to electronic prescriptions and patient medication histories. Redwood MedNet also plans to expand into neighboring counties to help other facilities achieve "Meaningful Use." A leader in health data delivery for small hospitals, small clinical practices, public health and ancillary health data services, the annual conference and monthly webinars offered by Redwood MedNet educate hundreds of regional health care professionals. For more information, see www.redwoodmednet.org.

About Alliance Medical Center

Alliance Medical Center was founded in 1971 by community volunteers who saw a need for a clinic to serve migrant farmworkers and their dependents. In the last 37 years we've grown steadily, and we serve all members of the community. Our Healdsburg headquarters is a "one-stop healthcare" facility, offering medical care, dental services, diabetes management, pediatrics, immunizations, dermatology, family planning, psychology, behavioral health, chiropractic, podiatry, and more. Our new Windsor clinic is expanding each month. Alliance Medical Center is a true safety net for Northern Sonoma County, providing affordable health care to 11,000 patients annually. Many of our patients would be using hospital emergency rooms for their healthcare without our efficient and affordable system. Alliance is a registered non-profit organization, and is accountable to the communities we serve. For more information, see www.alliancemed.org.

About Healdsburg District Hospital

Healdsburg District Hospital, founded in 1905 and located in Healdsburg, CA, is a district hospital whose mission is to meet the health care needs of the population we serve with a constant striving for the highest quality care and service, innovative and responsible use of resources, and compassion for our customers. For more information, see www.nschd.org.

About Mirth Corporation

Mirth is a global leader in commercial open source products and services powering healthcare interoperability. It also delivers information technology consulting, hosts high availability secure applications. Mirth solutions are used daily by thousands of health professionals and institutions worldwide to streamline care management processes and to securely exchange health information. The Mirth Project represents the first in a series of Mirth initiatives aimed at transforming health information technology by making high-value information technology utilities available to the healthcare community on an open source basis. For more information visit www.mirthcorp.com.

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