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Alaska eHealth Network Partners with Orion Health for Health Information Exchange Deployment

The Alaska eHealth Network (AeHN, www.ak-ehealth.org) has selected Orion Health™ as the primary technology provider for Alaska’s statewide health information exchange.  Orion Health is a leading solution provider with expertise in clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector. AeHN has purchased the company’s Health Information Exchange solution, to be deployed in a hosted, software as a service (SaaS) model to maximize the security of patient data and ensure efficient operational progress.

The selection follows the designation last April of AeHN by the State of Alaska as Alaska’s official health information exchange management entity, and became official with a contract between Orion Health and AeHN signed on November 30, 2010.

The Orion Health / AeHN partnership will establish the statewide electronic superhighway for securely moving Electronic Health Records and related health care information, connecting health care providers across the state for safe, secure, and less expensive health care services.  The program will create a system to track chronic disease across the state, coordinate care programs and improve patient health.

“With the experience and expertise of Orion Health on our side, we are very optimistic about getting Alaska’s  health information exchange up and operating by the middle of 2011,” said Paul Sherry, president of AeHN’s board of directors.  “That’s great news for all Alaskans who need health care, and Alaska’s caregivers who provide it.”

Currently in Alaska, most patient-specific clinical information is stored in paper-based medical records or non-connected provider-specific electronic systems. These records are difficult for caregivers to access and share across unaligned organizations, particularly when needed for emergency situations. Paper records also make it difficult to monitor and respond rapidly to public health events to protect the population from emerging public threats. As more caregivers adopt electronic health records and the Alaska eHealth Network expands, these challenges will greatly diminish.

Paul Viskovich, President Orion Health North America says “AeHN needs a solution to unify healthcare across a broad rural region that integrates different data types and provides physicians with a complete view of the information they need to improve health across the region. We are looking forward to working with AeHN to provide them with knowledge gained from similar programs that will help them ensure success for physicians and patients using the system.”

Sherry says AeHN went through an exhaustive evaluation process and critically reviewed the performance of potential vendors before selecting Orion Health. “Orion Health proved its ability to deliver the kind of system Alaskans demand: one that is efficient and cost-effective, but also assures patient safety and patient privacy,” said Sherry “Their track record of success in large health information exchanges in other states and countries demonstrated they were the right choice to help us move healthcare technology further into the 21st century.”

Orion Health was selected after a thorough, five-month competitive process managed by AeHN.  The process included guidance by an experienced consultant and a statewide taskforce of healthcare stakeholders.

AeHN plans to deploy a pilot program in early 2011 with four Alaska hospitals and associated clinics participating in the exchange of authorized medical information.

About Alaska eHealth Network

AeHN is an independent, non-profit organization established to create a statewide, standards-based electronic health network which will allow individual Alaskans to have their own personal health record and to authorize their health care providers to exchange electronic medical records in a timely, secure manner.

When complete, AeHN will have the capability to provide any Alaskan with a secure personal health record, including authorization for their health care providers to access electronic records required for continuity of care, such as hospitalization records, medical history, prescription information, vaccinations, allergies, imaging records and laboratory results.

Participants of AeHN include: private providers, AARP Alaska, Alaska EHR Alliance, Alaska Federal Health Care Partnership, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Primary Care Association, Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, Providence Health System, and State of Alaska, Dept of Health & Social Services.

About Orion Health Inc.
Orion Health™ is the leading Health Information Exchange (HIE) solution provider with expertise in clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector. Orion Health’s easy-to-use solutions and applications improve patient care and clinical decision making by enabling the exchange of healthcare information among disparate systems and providing integrated health data in a single, unified view. By extending existing healthcare information systems, the Orion Health™ Rhapsody Integration Engine and workflow solutions provide healthcare workers with easy access to patient data and trends, and reduce errors and omissions by streamlining information transfer. The HIE also supports Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) continuing their goal of improved care coordination, cost savings and better quality of care.

Worldwide, Orion Health has deployed health information communities involving over 35 million patients with hundreds of thousands of active clinical users including Maine’s HealthInfoNet, Alberta Health Services and Spain’s IB Salut. Orion Health’s partners include leading health system integrators and IT vendors such as Accenture, Allscripts, IBM, Oracle, Philips and others. Orion Health has more than 1,000 clients around the world, including Lahey Clinic, Ochsner Health System, UCLA Medical Center, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Spain's IB Salut, South Eastern Norwegian Regional Health Authority, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Orion Health is a preferred Canada Health Infoway Solution. More information can be found at http://www.orionhealth.com.

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