North Dakota is rolling out a new health information exchange network as part of a broader effort to improve the state’s healthcare system. The network will connect local physician’s electronic health records systems. Officials announced that a majority of North Dakota physicians, hospitals, public health units and long-term care facilities have health record systems that are capable of connecting with the statewide network and that several providers are already sharing information via the NDHIN.
Dalrymple announced that North Dakota is first among all states in sharing health records according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 83% of physicians use electronic health record systems that are capable of connecting with the network. The national average is 48%.
This year, 100% of North Dakota hospitals have indicated they will go live with their EHR systems. In 2013, nearly half of the state’s long-term care facilities reported an active EHR system, with an additional 33 percent indicating they would go live within two years and half of North Dakota’s public health units indicated having, or were in the process of implementing, an EHR. Since its inception, the state has invested $10 million in a revolving loan fund through the Bank of North Dakota to help providers develop systems compatible with the statewide network.
The initiative was funded by a federal grant of $5.3 million with a match provided by the state. The network went live earlier this year and will continue to expand over the next several years. CivSource reported that EHR will be a $22.3 billion global market through 2015, with over $10 billion of that being in the US.