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WV hospitals utilize new technology

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Nine West Virginia hospitals have now joined the West Virginia Health Information Network's query-based Health Information Exchange.

Wheeling Hospital and WVU Healthcare joined last year, and more recently Monongalia General Hospital, Preston Memorial Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital, Grafton City Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center have joined.

The HIE allows participating hospitals to share patient health information with one another in a secure electronic manner for public health reporting purposes.

Providers have the latest patient health information in near real-time, in an organized manner. Some patients have been able to enjoy reduced testing and improved quality of care due to physicians having access to the most current medical information as well as critical emergency information, such as allergy information and current medications.

"We are very excited to have these new hospitals join our network," WVHIN Chief Operations Officer Phil Weikle said in a news release. "The WVHIN now has partners in many areas of the state.

"In an effort to provide the best health care to patients across the state, participation of health care organizations in the HIE is crucial so we continue moving forward in connecting providers in all corners of West Virginia."

The WVHIN was recognized by the federal government in December 2012 as a national leader in its efforts to enhance the safety and quality of healthcare by embracing the use of health information technology.