CONTACT: Beth Kaplan, (608) 267-3810
GROUP SELECTED TO GOVERN WISCONSIN'S HEALTH IT NETWORK
Wisconsin State Health Information Network (WISHIN) to
Begin Development of Statewide Health Information Exchange in 2011
MADISON – The development of a statewide exchange of electronic
health information is another step closer with the announcement that state
officials intend to designate the Wisconsin State Health Information
Network (WISHIN) as the exchange’s governing organization. Following a
competitive application process, the group was recommended by the
Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data (WIRED) for Health Board, the state’s
planning board appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle.
The new organization will establish the first features of statewide
health information exchange in 2011. As part of its initial work, the
exchange will allow more health care providers to receive summaries of
recent patient visits electronically from other health care providers who
are not associated with the same clinic or health system, as well as
results of lab tests. Research has shown that these steps reduce medical
errors and save time for clinicians and patients.
WISHIN is a non-profit organization formed by the Wisconsin Hospital
Association, the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, the Wisconsin
Collaborative for Health Care Quality and the Wisconsin Medical Society.
The WIRED for Health Act, 2009 Wisconsin Act 274, requires the governing
organization to be a non-profit, private-public partnership.
“With this important milestone, we will improve Wisconsin health care
providers’ access to the right information at the right time to provide
the very best care for their patients,” said Karen Timberlake,
Department of Health Services Secretary. “This is a significant step
forward and builds on a strong tradition of Wisconsin’s leadership on
health care quality.”
“The four organizations that have collaborated to form WISHIN are
extremely pleased by this announcement,” said Wisconsin Medical Society
CEO Susan L. Turney, MD. “Wisconsin consistently is recognized as a
national leader in health care quality, and we believe developing a
statewide exchange of electronic health information has the potential to
further improve the quality of care we are able to provide. We look
forward to working together for the benefit of patients throughout the
Wisconsin is receiving a total of $9.4 million for the development and
implementation of the exchange plan as part of the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). With the establishment of a statewide
health information network, Wisconsin providers are poised to receive
federal incentive payments, estimated to be between $500 million and $800
million, to help health care providers with the cost of implementing or
upgrading electronic health records systems.
The WIRED for Health Board estimates that eliminating one percent of
inefficiency and waste in health care spending could generate $69 million
in savings in Wisconsin alone.
Last Revised: October 25, 2010