In Phase 2, we solved a much harder and more complex problem - the pulling of records in real time from physician offices and hospitals where patients have opted in to disclose their records to other caregivers.
This required the engineering of several components
*A state wide master patient index for patients who opt in, storing name, gender, date of birth and other demographic data elements
*A state wide consent registry indicating the medical record numbers and locations where patients have opted in to disclose their data to caregivers
*A portal which enables providers to securely login and view patient medical record locations
*A viewer which enables secure retrieval of medical records from organizations which support real time data display
*An electronic medical record request system for those organizations which support a request/release by the medical records department workflow.
*Full audit trails of all activity - an accounting of disclosures
Today a multi-organizational team will demonstrate an Emergency Department visit by a febrile, confused, elderly gentleman. His records are scattered over many hospitals and clinician offices. Treatment in an emergency room is accelerated, more aligned with patient/family care preferences, and is safer with more information. We'll demonstrate how a single institutional record based on one episodic visit can be very different than a lifetime continuous record which includes the entire patient experience with healthcare. We'll show several near misses with diagnostics and therapy that could have caused harm, increased expense and reduced quality.
Today is the launch of the service. The state's master patient index and consent registry (collectively called the relationship locator service) will be populated as patients consent to be included. 57 organizations including providers, public health, health plans, local HIEs and clinical registries are already part of the Massachusetts HiWay and all will be working hard in 2014 to expand the use of the new services.
I can imagine a day in the next few years, when all patients in the Commonwealth, with their consent, benefit from secure, coordinated care. My mother suffered a major medical error in California because of inaccessible primary care records. I truly believe that my 20 year old daughter, attending Tufts University, will see significant reduction in preventable harm in Massachusetts during her 20's.
Let the safety begin!