Maryland to create health information exchange

March 27, 2009

A group of prominent Maryland healthcare institutions has submitted a plan to create a statewide health information exchange that will allow hospitals to share electronic medical records.

A group of prominent Maryland healthcare institutions has submitted a plan to create a statewide health information exchange that will allow hospitals to share electronic medical records.

The group, known as the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP), consists of Erickson Retirement Communities, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, MedStar Health, and University of Maryland Medical Systems, as well as a dozen additional healthcare institutions. It says its plan will allow physicians to receive real-time patient health information.

It is the second proposal for an HIE that has been submitted to the state. This summer, Maryland will invite proposals from companies to build the $10 million exchange. It intends to fund implementation of the exchange through hospital rate setting.  

The biggest challenge to the implementation of EHR systems is lack of interoperability between hospitals, clinics, and physician practices. By building a secure standards-based platform for exchanging health information, proponents of the proposed HIE say it will improve healthcare quality, prevent medical errors, and reduce costs. Specifically, the exchange of real-time information will reduce unnecessary tests and prevent potential drug interaction errors.