Arkansas BCBS grants $800K to rural hospitals for participation in medical records exchange 

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield awarded $817,000 to the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership to help rural hospitals and clinics in the state participate in its patient data sharing network, according to a Jan. 28 news release.

ARHP is a nonprofit organization of 14 hospitals and 108 hospital-owned or affiliated clinics in south Arkansas.

The grant will cover expenses and equipment upgrades for AHRP members to participate fully in the State Health Alliance for Records Exchange. The records exchange network allows users to send patients' clinical information instantly, so providers have the data before the patients arrive.

Several ARHP hospitals only participate in the records exchange at a minimal level, while three member hospitals do not share data at all. The grant will allow all ARHP members to participate in the information exchange at the highest level for one year.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock is a partner of ARHP. The two organizations collaborate on professional health education and public health issues.

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