Boston bombing reveals IT gaps

Sharing patient records still a sticking point

The response to the bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line this week held plenty of positives for coordination and planning, but it also highlighted a glaring weakness in that patient records were hard to come by.

David Delano, project director at Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, said the next phase of the state’s health information exchange initiative, known as Mass HIway, will have a query capability for providers that participate. So, if a patient from another participating system comes in during an emergency, their records can be accessed, he told MedCity News.

That kind of access to medical records during an emergency like the bombing in Boston is the holy grail of health information exchange networks, Delano said.

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