Fewer than half of California's counties have EHR projects

California Regional Health Information Organization

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A recent statewide survey found that fewer than half of California’s counties have efforts under way for electronically sharing health care data.

Twenty-six of the state’s 58 counties have health projects for electronic data exchange across disparate information systems within a region or community, according to the California Regional Health Information Organization.

The organization is a statewide collaborative effort among various public and private health care groups interested in using information technology to improve health care management and delivery.

According to a press release from the organization, the survey also found:

• A lack of an infrastructure to connect health care providers, patients and others in the state.

• Most projects in development focus on disease management or outpatient electronic health records.

• Medical information, such as clinical notes, administrative data, lab results, pharmacy data, radiology reports and disease registry data, varies from project to project.

• 60 percent of survey respondents said their funding comes in grants from foundations, health plans, hospitals and federal agencies, and the majority of initiatives do not have a permanent funding source.

As part of the project, the California organization is taking inventory of all the state’s health technology initiatives. So far, it has found that a majority of the initiatives are in the planning and funding phases. Several initiatives in development will become operational soon, according to the organization.

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