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DCH Launches Georgia Health-e Connect

ATLANTA --- The Georgia Department of Community Health's (DCH) Office of Health Information Technology & Transparency (HITT) is leading an initiative called Georgia Health-e Connect to develop and implement a statewide certified electronic health record (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) in support of Georgia's 1.5 million Medicaid population and the more than 10,000 physicians who serve them. DCH is scheduled to begin Phase I with providers in January.

"Georgia is leading the nation to transform and improve health care efficiency and quality through the creation of a secure health information exchange system," said DCH Commissioner Dr. Rhonda Medows. "Georgia Health-e Connect provides Georgia Medicaid recipients with the best opportunity to receive optimal care and services for the greatest health outcomes."

Health information technology (HIT) allows comprehensive management of medical information and its secure exchange between health care consumers and providers. Broad use of HIT has the potential to improve health care quality, prevent medical errors, increase the efficiency of care provision and reduce unnecessary health care costs, increase administrative efficiencies, decrease paperwork, expand access to affordable care, and improve population health.

"The initiative will take place over the next few years through a series of phases with the introduction of an EHR system that will connect Medicaid physicians with other health care stakeholders serving beneficiaries across the state," said Dr. Carladenise Edwards, DCH's Chief of Staff and State HIT Coordinator.

Georgia Health-e Connect will increase the level of care Medicaid recipients receive by offering the following benefits:

- Physician practice productivity improvements

- Improvements in clinical outcomes

- Systemic and population health improvements

- Improved patient and patient family satisfaction.

Web posted on Thursday, December 24, 2009

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