An Allina Health study published in the
current issue of the journal Applied Clinical
Informatics showed that a significant number of
diagnostic tests and procedures can be avoided if clinicians
exchange health information with other health systems.
Allina Health uses Care Everywhere which is a health
information exchange tool embedded in the Allina Health
electronic health record called Excellian® that is
powered by Epic (Epic Systems Corporation, Verona, Wis.) With
patient consent, Allina Health providers can use this tool to
exchange clinical information electronically with hospitals
and clinics from other health systems where that patient has
The study included the emergency departments at Abbott Northwestern, Mercy, and Unity hospitals, all part
of Allina Health.
Researchers analyzed the care of patients who were seen
emergently during a six month period in 2012. The results
showed that 560 potentially duplicative diagnostic
procedures, such as blood work and imaging, were avoided when
the providers used the health information exchange tool.
"Care Everywhere has become a valuable tool as our department
strives to be efficient with the patient's time and avoid
repeat testing and duplicate costs," said Paul Satterlee, MD, an
emergency medicine physician at Abbott Northwestern.
The study suggests that sharing clinical information with
other health systems has the potential to generate greater
efficiencies in emergency departments by eliminating
duplicate diagnostic testing.