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WV Health Information Network receives federal recognition

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The federal government recently recognized the West Virginia Health Information Network as a national leader in its efforts to advance the use of health information technology.

According to a news release from the West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia Health Information Network's services enables the electronic exchange of patient health information in real time and allows West Virginia health care providers to access patient health information whenever they need it.

"As a result, different health care providers who treat a single patient (primary care physician, cardiologist, dermatologist, for example) will have access to the same medical history, assisting the provider in making diagnoses and developing treatment plans for the patient," the news release states.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology also is specifically recognizing efforts in West Virginia for a number of reasons.

For one, the news release states, 97 percent of pharmacies in the Mountain State are e-prescribing. The second reason, the news release continues, is because more than 300 health care providers in West Virginia are actively using Direct Secure Messaging, called WVDirect. This program provides a secure way for providers to send encrypted health information to another provider.

The West Virginia Health Information Network is a public/private partnership created through West Virginia Code. Its mission is to build secure electronic health information system for the exchange of patient data.