The healthcare industry lags behind other industries when it comes to information technology.
Electronic health records have the potential to make healthcare better and less expensive. Quest has been involved with two major initiatives to modernize healthcare communication in central Illinois:
Quest is central Illinois’ satellite office for the Illinois Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (IL-HITREC). Regional Extension Centers (RECs) help providers select and implement an electronic health record system that meets the government standards known as meaningful use.
A second major part of modernizing health records involves how they are accessed.
Once a comprehensive electronic health record exists, its true value lies in being accessed for healthcare purposes, even when outside of one’s home area or when using the services of multiple providers. In order for providers to securely share patient information, a dedicated network must be in place to allow secure access from multiple points. This network is known as a Health Information Exchange (HIE).
Around the country, regional HIEs are being formed to allow for this type of secure exchange of health information. These HIEs will eventually connect to each other, ultimately forming a nationwide exchange.
Quest incubated the Central Illinois Health Information Exchange (CIHIE), which is now a separate organization.