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CareEvolution South Carolina partners win $1.58 million

HRSA Health IT Grant to expand regional health information exchange

WASHINGTON, D.C, September 12, 2007

CareEvolution announced that the South Carolina Office of Rural Health has been awarded a HRSA Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Health Information Technology Grant totaling $1,582,825.09. The grant provides the necessary funding and technical resources for the Lakelands Rural Health Network, and its technology partners, South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics, and CareEvolutionto expand a regional health information exchange and quality improvement initiative in the rural Lakelands area of Western South Carolina covering over 2400 square miles. The announcement was made at the 2007 eHealth Initiative Annual Conference.

"This project will establish a platform that will not only meet the growing needs of area physicians, non-profit and critical access hospitals, and other health care organizations, but of service area residents, empowering them to be active participants in their own health care," said said Vik Kheterpal, MD, a principal at CareEvolution. It will have compelling impact in the areas of quality and continuity of patient care, clinical workflow and productivity, interoperability, efficiency and consumer healthcare.

In late 2006, LRHN was selected as a rural health information exchange (HIE) to link with the existing South Carolina Health Information Exchange (SCHIEx), a statewide record locator service that leverages claims based datasets. Following the "network of networks" model, the LRHN HIE is able to leverage the existing SCHIEx statewide federated repository of longitudinal health history built from UB92 and Medicaid claims. While traditionally, claims based information has been discounted to aid in clinical care, this project shows that claims based datasets can be invaluable to "seed" comprehensive health histories. With even the most optimistic statistics suggesting that only 25% of caregivers use online Electronic Health Records (EHRs), this approach is unique in being able to fill the data holes to construct a comprehensive health history. This project is thus able to provide value for all clinical encounters across the LRHN service area even if many of the providers are not yet fully automated with EMRs.

The Network is ready to seize upon this funding opportunity thanks to excellent collaboration demonstrated by partner organizations and an agreement to serve as the rural pilot for the South Carolina Office of Research & Statistics (ORS) hosted SCHIEx. The Network is committed to implementing this already developed health information exchange platform to transform the LRHN service area and serve as a model for expansion across South Carolina and beyond. The project promises to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care in the LRHN service area through health information sharing. Mr. Rich D'Alberto, CEO of Laurens County Health Care System and Chair of the LRHN Board of Trustees commented the "progress made by the LRHN has been impressive, as a direct result of the positive impacts made when healthcare providers partner for the same reason. These grant funds will assist the Network to achieve goals that expand health care accessibility and affordability for our citizens."

About Lakelands Rural Health Network (LRHN)

LRHN is a nonprofit, multi-county vertical network that was developed in 2004 with the guidance and financial assistance of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, to achieve efficiencies, expand access, coordinate and improve the quality of essential health care services, and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole. The Lakelands partner organizations include Abbeville Area Medical Center, Carolina Health Centers Inc., Edgefield County Hospital, DHEC Public Health Region 1, Laurens County Health Care System, Montgomery Center for Family Medicine, Self Regional Healthcare, The Self Family Foundation, and the South Carolina Office of Rural Health.

About South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH)

The South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established in 1991 to improve the health status of rural and underserved people throughout the state. The SCORH seeks to accomplish this goal through advocacy, education, and assistance to providers, communities and policy-makers. Through its mission, the SCORH works in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners to offer various services and resources to South Carolina's health care providers and their rural communities.

About South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics (ORS)

The South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) is a Service Agency within the SC Budget and Control Board. ORS is a neutral entity with no regulatory function within the state government. ORS' mission is to provide statistical and research focused services to statewide stakeholders. Through a series of agreements, agencies and organizations (public and private) entrust their data systems with the ORS while retaining control of their own data at all times.

About CareEvolution, Inc.

CareEvolution is a leading provider of secure interoperability solutions. HIEBus, our health information exchange (HIE) technology platform is a robust Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to enable heterogeneous underlying medical record systems to share clinical information in a secure, reliable, and incremental manner. Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO), employers, health plans, and others can adopt distinct components such as Identity Management, Record Location, Clinical Data Integration, Audit & Log, Data Persistence, Visualization, Terminology, and Data Mining may be adopted piecemeal or as a comprehensive technology platform.

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