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JACKSON, Miss. – Hospitals and healthcare providers throughout Mississippi are partnering in a multi-million dollar, cutting edge electronic health information system. The Mississippi Health Information Network (MS-HIN) will improve patient care, ensure more accurate transmission of records, and cut costs for both patients and providers in our state.

The MS-HIN is a secure electronic exchange of health information which allows providers quick, reliable access to patient health records. With the patient’s permission, the MS-HIN provides electronic medical records at the point of care, which fosters better quality of care, and improved health outcomes and operating efficiency while reducing costs by eliminating duplicate tests and services.

“The infrastructure for this network was actually established in the Coastal counties after Hurricane Katrina. It was evident that there was a need for an electronic database for patient information, particularly following disasters,” said Dr. Mary Currier, Mississippi State Health Officer and Chairman of the MS-HIN Board.

“In response, the Mississippi Coastal Health Information Exchange was implemented in 2008, beginning with three major hospitals and then adding three more that all share basic clinical information, lab results, and medication history,” said Dr. Currier. “This statewide network will essentially be an extension of a system that is already established and working well for residents in the lower six counties.”

The MS-HIN is one of numerous systems currently being implemented nationwide. Funding for the system was made possible through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).

So far, eight hospitals are actively participating in the network with 22 currently pending.

The development of the MS-HIN will allow the exchange of patients’ clinical information regardless of geographical location to physicians, hospitals, labs, long-term care facilities, health plans, behavioral health, public health, Medicaid, pharmacies, and state agencies.

The system has several measures in place to ensure patient information is protected. Transmission of records is encrypted and sent over a secure network. Only authorized personnel can access patient information, and the system keeps track of who views what information and when it was accessed for tracking purposes.

The MS-HIN is governed by an 11-member board appointed by different network partners such as the governor’s office, various state agencies, the Mississippi State Medical Association, the Delta Health Alliance, and key hospital providers.

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