Virginia launches nation's first program to link all state ERs to electronic patient records

Virginia is the first state to launch a program that connects each hospital's emergency department with an electronic patient records system, WRIC reports.

The Virginia Emergency Department Care Coordination Program connects EDs statewide, serving as an online portal for physicians to access a patient's information from other hospitals. It also lets physicians view the types of tests, prescriptions and other providers who treated a patient.

The program looks at data in real time, to help care for complex, high-risk patients, including those facing homelessness or opioid addiction.

The program could also help decrease care costs since physicians may not order extra tests for patients after viewing their most recent records, said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, MD, a pediatric neurologist.

"So to be able to have access to a patient’s information is key, and that’s really where the quality will be improved, by being able to take better care of these patients," Northam said.

The program launched at the end of June and has received positive feedback from users, officials said.

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