Rochester RHIO Extends Health Information Exchange

April 8, 2010

San Jose, CA and Rochester, NY April 8, 2010 – Axolotl Corp., the nationwide leader in health information exchange (HIE) solutions and services and Rochester RHIO, the regional health information organization connecting medical providers across nine counties in New York, today announced that six emergency departments are using Rochester RHIO to view critical patient information from data providers across the region. Emergency departments (ED) include Clifton Springs, F.F. Thompson, Lakeside Memorial, Rochester General, United Memorial Medical Center, and Wyoming Community Hospitals.

Leveraging Rochester RHIO’s technology platform, powered by Axolotl’s Elysium Exchange, authorized providers and physicians are able to securely view, manage and exchange essential patient information such as lab reports, test results, medication history, insurance information, radiology images and reports, hospital discharge summaries, elder services data and now critical medical information from ED’s.

In emergency situations, Rochester RHIO will save lives. For example, if a patient is in a car accident or unresponsive after a stroke or heart attack, ED physicians – with one click to the Elysium Virtual Health Record (VHR) – can immediately see information such as medications, diagnoses, and recent lab results that could affect treatment decisions. Prior to the RHIO’s health information exchange, doctors often had to rely on a patient’s memory, information from family members, or hardcopy documents from other institutions.

Rochester General Hospital Associate Chief for Emergency Medicine, Dr. Bryan Gargano, said that being able to immediately see prior cardiology test results on patients who come in with chest pain allows emergency staff to identify the condition rapidly and provide proper emergent care. “My patients love that I can see what they have had done elsewhere. Before the RHIO, it was a common frustration that I had to reorder tests or was unable review a patient’s prior studies from outside facilities,” Gargano said. “Using Rochester RHIO allows me to synthesize the best care plan immediately. In this technologically advanced medical community, our patients expect and deserve this.”

Connecting emergency departments is part of Rochester RHIO’s efforts to increase “continuity of care,” helping medical teams to provide more informed diagnosis and treatment in a range of settings. More than 20 health care organizations provide patient information to Rochester RHIO; this information is available to authorized providers via a secure internet connection.

Rochester RHIO Executive Director, Ted Kremer, said that implementing the health information exchange in emergency departments has been a priority for the organization. “We are happy that six EDs are using Rochester RHIO, and we’re working with other hospitals to bring this valuable tool to their emergency staffs,” Kremer said. “ED physicians must make quick, often critical treatment decisions, and Rochester RHIO’s ability to supply clinical background information to support them is crucial.” 

Patients must sign a consent form to allow providers to see their information electronically using Rochester RHIO. More than 225,000 patients have said “yes” on consent forms. If a patient has not yet signed a consent form but is involved in a life-threatening emergency situation, doctors are able to access Rochester RHIO on a one-time emergency basis unless the patient has specifically declined consent to a particular provider.