On Monday, August 23, the Northern Virginia Regional Health Information Organization (NoVaRHIO) officially launched its MEDS-ED pilot project at the Inova Alexandria Hospital. The goal of this two year pilot is to provide the Inova Alexandria Emergency Department physicians with patients’ medication histories, after their approval, to help in diagnosis and treatment. The project kick-off was highlighted by remarks from Bill Euille, Mayor of Alexandria; Geoff Brown, CIO of Inova Health System; Dr. Ryan Bosch, CMIO of Inova Health System; Eugene Huang, Deputy to the National CTO; and Cindi Jones, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the State of Virginia. The high-profile nature of these speakers underscored the importance of this project to healthcare in the state of Virginia and its national implications. The NoVaRHIO MEDS-ED project has two distinct aspects. First, Inova emergency physicians will be able to send a query through the MEDS-ED system to existing prescription data repositories such as Surescripts, receive available medication history reports, and verify them with their patients. Deployment of this portion of the pilot is scheduled for the end of 2010. Second, NoVaRHIO will establish a standards-based health information framework for automating and providing access to the “File of Life,” their patient emergency medical information and family contact form. The NoVaRHIO MEDS-ED project is being conducted with support from Audacious Inquiry, Inova Hospital System, The Commonwealth of Virginia, General Electric, and Picis.
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