Union Hospital of Cecil County has agreed to become a full member of the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) and is the second out-of-state hospital to participate in Delaware’s health information exchange. By becoming a member Union Hospital will be posting medical information about its Delaware patients to the DHIN database. This will provide a more complete community health record for Delaware residents who receive treatment there.
Physicians and surgeons at Union Hospital will also have access to the medical results and reports for their patients in the DHIN database. That will provide a broader picture of the care previously provided to Delaware patients that are treated at Union as well as for the Maryland patients who have received treatment in Delaware.
“The lines that define state borders have blurred greatly when it comes to health care,” said Dr. Jan Lee, DHIN Executive Director. “Patients are frequently referred to a physician or specialist across a state line. The inclusion of those medical results in the patient’s file – regardless of zip code – can raise the speed and efficiency with which a patient is treated, and can even save lives.”
According to Laurie Beyer, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Union Hospital, the agreement comes in response to the large number of patients the hospital and its medical group serves from across the state border. “We are very pleased to be connected with the Delaware Health Information Network. A high percentage of the patients we treat at Union Hospital are from Delaware, and having the ability to view their health history will enable us to treat those patients much more effectively. It will also reduce the time and effort needed to field requests and fax or mail results to and from Delaware physicians for shared patients, which will result in better care,” she said.
Union Hospital is the second hospital in Maryland to join DHIN. In June, Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin became the first acute care hospital in the nation to join a Health Information Exchange (HIE) in another state. Additional hospitals from outside Delaware are expected to join DHIN in the coming months as well.