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PA eHealth Partnership Authority Awards More than $500,000 in Home Health Grants

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority has released nearly $500,000 in grant funding to five home health agencies to improve healthcare outcomes through the secure exchange of electronic health information (eHIE). The use of electronic health records and the ability to exchange them with other providers has shown to increase efficiency and improve the workflow of healthcare providers, including home health nurses.

The following organizations received awards:

  • At Peace Heath Care Agency LLC, $33,402, Philadelphia County
  • Immediate Homecare and Hospice, $59,205, Bucks County
  • Punxsutawney Area Hospital, $167,718, Jefferson County
  • VNA Health System, $178,250, Northumberland County
  • VNA of Indiana County, $100,900, Indiana County

"When a home health caregiver has access to a patient's medical records through an electronic health record (EHR), it means they have the right information at the right time to provide the best care for their client," said the Authority's Executive Director, Alexandra "Alix" Goss. "These capacity building grants in the home health sector bring us a step closer to making the full electronic exchange of health information a reality in Pennsylvania and helps us give healthcare a 21st century upgrade."

The grant requires the recipients to exchange health information using DIRECT, a secure email exchange between two providers, or by linking to one the Health Information Organizations (HIOs) in the state.

These can make home health nurses more efficient by:

  1. Allowing them to use DIRECT to securely email paperwork at a patient's home using an iPad rather than keying it into a computer at the office.
  2. Exchanging information with a provider who has DIRECT and getting immediate responses.
  3. When the patient's information is available through an HIO, electronically reviewing the patient's chart to ensure compliance with physician orders.

Qualified grants were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding for the grants was made possible through a $17.1 million federal grant administered by the Authority to help establish HIE in Pennsylvania.

About the PA eHealth Partnership Authority
The PA eHealth Partnership Authority is an independent state agency that is working to meet federal requirements for eHIE in Pennsylvania. eHIE is the electronic sharing of health-related information among unaffiliated providers and organizations according to nationally recognized standards. For more information, visit www.paehealth.com.

SOURCE Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority

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