Virtua's New Health Information Exchange: Health Care Communication to Benefit Patients

Feb 27, 2013, 17:08 ET from Virtua

MARLTON, N.J., Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --For most people, health care involves a variety of providers—doctors, nurses, hospitals, specialists, laboratories and pharmacies, just to name a few.  The majority of these entities are in the process of switching from paper to electronic records in order to make medical records more complete and accessible. Virtua has found a way to make these electronic records easier to access through its new Health Information Exchange (HIE).

Sharing electronic personal health information (EPHI) among a person's health care providers can ensure that the patient is prescribed the most appropriate treatment based on his/her medical history. Electronically sharing medical information allows physicians quicker access than the old paper system. For example, test results can immediately be sent to ordering physicians through the HIE.

"If you receive treatment from multiple doctors who participate in the Virtua HIE, your physicians can see a more complete picture of your health, make more informed treatment decisions and coordinate care more efficiently," explained Alfred Campanella, Virtua's Executive Vice President for Strategic Business Growth and Analytics.

Only a patient's authorized health care providers will have access to the EPHI. The information shared can include reports about illnesses, treatments, allergies, medicines and test results. Health information is stored in or may pass through the Virtua secure server that is equipped with security safeguards to prevent records from being accessed by anyone who is not authorized.

Current participants in Virtua's HIE include Virtua Health, Virtua Medical Group, Reconstructive Orthopedics, South Jersey Radiology Associates, Larchmont Medical Imaging,  Quest Diagnostics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Kennedy Health System, Meetinghouse Family Physicians, Genesis Healthcare, and Regional Cancer Care Associates. The addition of other providers is ongoing and the number of participants is expected to increase.

Virtua also plans to create secure connections to health care providers who participate in other community-based HIE networks. These connections will allow physicians who participate in different Health Information Exchanges to better coordinate a patient's care by sharing information over a secure connection.

"The secure sharing of information among health care providers will only improve the delivery of care for patients," said Campanella. "Virtua's Health Information Exchange is an example of technology use that is moving the delivery of health care into its next phase."

As one of New Jersey's largest health systems, Virtua helps people be well, get well and stay well through a comprehensive range of health care services. Services are delivered through three health and wellness centers, three fitness centers, four acute care hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices with more than 240 physicians, urgent care centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, home health services, two long-term care and rehabilitation centers, 12 paramedic units and a wide range of outpatient services. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers almost 8,000 babies a year. Virtua also provides employment and wellness services to 1,700 businesses and corporations. An innovator in clinical and information technology such as electronic medical records, Virtua is recognized for its ground-breaking partnerships with GE Healthcare, Alere, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. It is the official orthopedic provider for the Philadelphia Flyers. Virtua employs more than 8,400 people and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley for seven consecutive years. It is the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit or