PORTLAND, Ore., May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Oregon Health Network, a wholly owned subsidiary of OCHIN whose mission is to improve the quality, access, and delivery of health care to all Oregonians, recently announced that Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) has become its newest member. OHN is Oregon's health information highway, providing information connectivity to the entire health care continuum in Oregon. OHN uses FCC grant funds to provide a widely available, low-cost, integrated, and monitored health care network that allows users to benefit from increased health information exchange, telehealth, and conference services throughout the state of Oregon.
"The walls of cost and complexity in patient care and medical education are coming down, and we are pleased to be at the forefront of this transformation," said Abigail Sears, OCHIN's CEO.
As a patient moves across the continuum of care, the sharing of information between generalists and specialists and from community to community, along with telehealth and other electronic technologies, helps medical providers to quickly serve patients in ways that can save time and money and increase overall patient and provider satisfaction.
"Kaiser Permanente works with many alliance partners and other providers throughout the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington," said Homer Chin MD, Associate Medical Director. "With the increasing need for high speed, high bandwidth, reliable connectivity, with 24x7 support, and the increasing need to extend our services to a wider community, OHN presented a quality-driven, cost-effective, compelling solution for us."
"Signing with OHN and working with non-Kaiser Permanente providers and health systems in support of quality patient care everywhere is a cooperative effort that benefits all Oregonians," stated Kim Lamb, OHN's executive director and OCHIN's VP of marketing and communications. "This makes sense for improving patient care and also speaks to the heart of Kaiser Permanente as a caring community partner."
Kaiser Permanente will officially join OHN on May 1, 2013. Over time, Kaiser Permanente patients and affiliate partners will see an improvement in the amount and reliability of information exchange and the quality of telehealth services as Kaiser Permanente migrates from its current point-to-point connections with its alliance partners to OHN. Kaiser Permanente also plans to connect to an increasing number of other community health providers through OHN, as the demand for health information exchange and information technology services increases and the cost of providing those services decreases.
About Oregon Health Network
Oregon Health Network (OHN), an OCHIN organization, is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to improve the quality, access, and delivery of health care to all Oregonians via a variety of services to its member facilities: enhanced broadband connectivity, health best practices, hosted services, and advocacy. Founded in 2007, OHN is a national top performing Federal Communications Commission Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP). OHN's scalable and statewide broadband infrastructure supports the coordination of care among Oregon's physicians, allied providers, clinics, health organizations, educators, students, and government agencies. For more information, visit www.oregonhealthnet.org.
About Kaiser Permanente Northwest
Kaiser Permanente Northwest is part of America's leading integrated health care organization. Founded in 1945, the organization serves the health needs of more than
9 million people in nine states and the District of Columbia. More than 486,000 people in Oregon and Southwest Washington receive their medical care from Kaiser Permanente, and more than 205,000 people receive dental care. A nonprofit health plan, Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. For more information, go to kp.org/newscenter.
Established in 2000 through a partnership with CareOregon, the Oregon Primary Care Association, Multnomah County Health Department, Clackamas County Health Department, and Virginia Garcia Health Clinics, OCHIN became an independent nonprofit in 2002. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, OCHIN is one of the nation's largest Health Information Networks and is recognized for its innovative use of Health IT to improve the integration and delivery of health care services across a wide variety of practices. With an historical emphasis on safety net clinics and small practices, OCHIN has expanded to include private practice provider and specialists. To date, OCHIN operates in 15 states and supports 70 health center networks and over 4,500 medical providers who serve over a 2.5 million patients. For more information, visit www.ochin.org.