Verizon introduces cloud-based health information exchange

Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) new Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a response to the concern that while electronic medical patient records may have a lot of potential for new information storage efficiencies, the reality is health care systems and providers were forced to leverage a bevy of incompatible IT platforms and software to create and store data in various formats.

The HIE, which will soon be available from Verizon as a cloud-based service, will help healthcare providers consolidate clinical patient data from providers and translate it into a standardized format that could be access via the Web. Through a web portal, healthcare providers across communities, states and regions that participate in the HIE will be able to request patient data, no matter what IT system and protocol they use. The obvious benefit for a doctor is that they can get a more complete view of a patient's health history with a few simple mouse clicks.

Offered on a pay-as-you-use basis, doctors and healthcare providers will also be able to reduce medical errors and duplicative testing, control administrative costs, and enhance patient safety.

Gerard Grundler, managing principal for HIE services for Verizon Connected Health Care Solutions, said in a Connected Planet article that the HIE offering was developed on what he dubs a "zero footprint" approach that will allow doctors to access and interact with the system from any wireless device that has web capabilities. What's more, the service will take the hassle of maintenance and upgrades out of the health provider's hands.

Although Verizon has been offering services targeted at the health care segment for a number of years, the debut of the HIE is well timed with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under the ARRA Act, 56 federal grants totaling $548 million have been awarded to states to facilitate and expand electronic health record programs.  

For more:
- see the release here
- and this related release

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