California begins preparing statewide health information exchange

Following a law signed last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California Health and Human Services Agency has started creating a health data exchange network that will give providers across the state real-time access to patient medical records, family physician Tarek Mahdi, MD, wrote May 16 in The Press-Enterprise.

During the pandemic, the Inland Empire Foundation for Medical Care in Riverside shared health information on chronic disease diagnoses to identify and reach out to the patients in that region who were at the highest risk of COVID-19.

"That effort demonstrated some of the important benefits of a secure statewide health information exchange network," wrote Dr. Mahdi, who serves on the board of the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange. "It provides the capacity to deliver the information needed for doctors to provide timely and efficient care to individual patients, and it has the capability to use population-level data that can inform effective programs to improve the health of entire communities."

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