SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick's medical records were transferred electronically from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to Baystate Medical Center.
The new exchange system is called the "HI-way," short for HEALTH INFORMATION. The system will allow any registered healthcare provider access to a patient's complete medical records no matter where they are treated in Massachusetts.
Not knowing a patient's background, doctors may order tests and procedures that have already been done, or prescribe medications that could be lethal. Organizers say this new connectivity allows health care professionals to share information and will improve quality, safety and efficiency and reduce costs in healthcare.
Dr. Evan Benjamin is the Senior Vice President of Healthcare Quality at Baystate Medical Center. He say's this system is an important first step to a national data base. "Locally, we have a very robust electronic medical record. What we're excited about here is the ability to exchange our information with other providers both here and in the Pioneer Valley and across the state, and ultimately, we're talking about nationally," Benjamin said.
Patients have the option to not have their medical records transferred. But Baystate's Chief Information Officer, Joel Vengco, says anyone concerned about their medical records being hacked should know that records are transferred within the system directly to a specific doctor, not across public internet lines. "The systems are built to ensure privacy and security of the patients record, and as you saw, it's a point to point transaction between two coordinated individuals."
Tuesday's event took place via teleconferencing from Mass General to Baystate Medical Center.