Health Care Organization Seeks to Connect Patients, Providers

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COLUMBIA - A non-for-profit St. Louis organization met Friday and hosted a discussion on health information exchanges (HIE) for Missouri.

The Midwest Gateway Chapter of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) said it is hoping to improve the connection between health care providers and patient information with a statewide portal service.

Organization leaders said HIEs allow health organizations to share patient information and eliminate the duplication of medical procedures.

For HIE practitioner Laura Adams, Friday's event was a bit more personal. Adams experienced the health care inefficiencies firsthand while battling breast cancer in Boston.

"Watching the system in Boston that I had assumed was so advanced in terms of having my data available for me, supporting me, not wasting resources and time. I realized that the waste was amazing," Adams said.

Adams said she felt a deeper purpose in life after her challenges with cancer, and that's why she supports HIEs.

"If you have a family member, a mother or a young child, to have to go to the hospital and collect all that information yourself is a burden," HIE Liaison Brad Martens said.

Martens said there three HIEs in Missouri:

  • Tiger Institute for Health Innovation
  • Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (LACIE)
  • Missouri Health Connection
Martens said he hopes within the next year the three HIEs will connect. The Tiger Institute for Health Innovation and LACIE have already reached an agreement.

The Midwest Gateway Chapter is one of 49 affiliated chapters of HIMSS worldwide.