Alexandria Hospital to access critical medication histories within minutes of a patient’s arrival

Thanks to an innovative electronic data exchange project launched today, emergency physicians at Inova Alexandria Hospital will have access to critical medication histories within minutes of a patient’s arrival.  This access will be made possible through MEDS-ED Link, a project of the Northern Virginia Regional Health Information Organization (NoVaRHIOsm) in conjunction with Inova Health System and GE Healthcare.

With patient approval, Inova emergency physicians will send a query through the MEDS-ED system to existing prescription data repositories such as Surescripts.  This query, based on the patient’s demographic data, will be carried through a secure technology infrastructure designed by GE Healthcare’s global eHealth division and implemented by the Inova Health System technology team.  Physicians will verify the resulting medication history report with each patient.

“The more accurate and timely the information at our disposal, the more tailored and beneficial our response can be,” said Dr. Martin Brown, Medical Director of Emergency Medicine, Inova Alexandria Hospital.  “NoVaRHIO’s MEDS-ED Link will give us faster and more reliable access to vital prescription history data during a time of great stress for patients and their families.”

“The system has been designed to be compatible with emergency department workflows where time is of the essence,” explained Earl Jones, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare’s eHealth business.  “We see this as a strong first step in our pledge to provide innovative information technologies to make fully functional health data exchange a reality in northern Virginia and beyond.”

NoVaRHIO is providing funding for the demonstration project, supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  NoVaRHIO is undertaking this two-year pilot as a first step toward a fully realized health information exchange in northern Virginia. The next step toward that goal will be to add other hospitals and hospital systems to the MEDS-ED Link project, as well as to incorporate laboratory and radiology data into the medical history report.

“By combining the global expertise of GE Healthcare with Inova’s commitment to patient care and safety, NoVaRHIO is extremely proud to facilitate this first step toward more efficient and reliable access to critical health data,” said Phil Reilly, NoVaRHIO board chairman and chief financial officer at KOL Bio-Medical Instruments.  “We look forward to working with hospitals and hospital systems throughout the region as we pursue of mission of improving the health status and healthcare of those who live and work in northern Virginia.”