LACIE, TIHA Partner on Electronic Health Records Exchange

The collaboration provides caregivers with the medical information needed to make better care decisions for the patient.

Tiger Institute Health Alliance (TIHA) in Columbia, Mo., and Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (LACIE) in Kansas City, Mo., announced they are now securely sharing patients' electronic medical records between their respective exchanges.

Linking the two health information exchanges will allow providers to securely share patients' up-to-date electronic medical records, including test results, medications and medical histories, with authorized health care professionals at a variety of locations.

As part of the agreement, the information exchange involves no connection fees for the network, member providers or patients. The collaboration also provides caregivers with the medical information needed to make better care decisions for the patient.

"As Americans become more mobile, they are receiving health care from different providers, often in different cities," Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., board chair of the TIHA and vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System, said in a statement. "That makes partnerships like these more important. This data sharing will allow physicians to view their patients' medical records from other health care organizations instantly, giving physicians more information to make the best health care decisions."

The Tiger Institute Health Alliance includes 16 health care organizations—representing hospitals, clinics, federally qualified health centers, post-acute care providers, critical access hospitals and health care providers—throughout Missouri employing an array of advanced health information exchange solutions. Initial members began exchanging health information bidirectionally in early 2012.

"This partnership between LACIE and TIHA means Children's Mercy will have access to more patient information than ever before," Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics Chief Medical Information Officer Laura Fitzmaurice said in a statement. "As a physician, I'm encouraged because we will make better decisions for our patients and, as an administrator, I'm excited to deliver this service to our employed and affiliated physicians."

For example, if a young adult living in Kansas City with Type I diabetes moves to Columbia to attend school at the University of Missouri, medical information about his childhood care at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics would be readily available to providers at University of Missouri Health Care.

If the student sought routine care or required emergency medical attention, the student's medical information collected by each organization would be available to caregivers when they need it most.

"We are now sharing medical records among patients' health care providers in different cities, even different states, all within months of agreeing to do so," Mike Dittemore, executive director of LACIE, said in a statement. "This connection to the Tiger Institute Health Alliance is the most significant connection LACIE has made to date."