Grant to encourage Utahns to choose to share their health information

The Regence Foundation awards $90,000 to Utah Health Information Network

SALT LAKE CITY – The more doctors know about what works, the better the treatment they can provide to patients. And one of the best ways to get information about what works is for patients – lots of patients – to share information about their care. The Clinical Health Information Exchange, or cHIE (pronounced chee), is a secure way for patients and doctors to share treatment information, but signup has been slow.

That’s why The Regence Foundation has awarded a $90,000 grant to the Utah Health Information Network to promote sign-up for its clinical Health Information Exchange. The cHIE was developed to share medical information, such as medications, allergies and test results, within Utah’s health care community. Its goal is to help increase quality of care, improve care outcomes and reduce costs.

To participate in the cHIE, patients must sign a consent form and opt into the information sharing network. Patients can choose to share all of their records, share with limited disclosure (provide consent at each doctor's visit and in emergencies), or not share at all.

“For the Health Information Exchange to be successful there needs to be a large number of patients participating,” said Peggy Maguire, Regence Foundation board chair. “With this grant, we hope the Utah Health Information Network can accelerate sign-up by increasing awareness of the exchange and the benefits of participating.”

The Utah Health Information Network plans to use the grant to purchase TV and radio ad space to support its consumer education campaign about the cHIE. Currently about 30,000 consent forms have been collected, with a goal of 700,000 by the end of 2012.

“The cHIE could save your life. If you end up in the emergency room, doctors could find out what allergies you have, what medications you take, and what health conditions you have,” says Jan Root, CEO of the Utah Health Information Network. “When your health information is shared on the cHIE, your doctors can get the information they need to give you the best possible care whether you can tell them or not. And the cHIE never sleeps, so your health information is available to your participating doctors anytime, anywhere in Utah.”

Utahns who are interested in participating in the Clinical Health Information Exchange or would like more information can visit www.mychie.org. Participation is free, and it’s easy to sign up.

About The Regence Foundation

The Regence Foundation is the corporate foundation of Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain region and a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. A 501(c)3 grantmaking organization, the Foundation partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Through its Sojourns program, the Foundation also supports organizations advancing quality palliative and end-of-life care. For more information visit www.RegenceFoundation.org or www.twitter.com/RegenceGives.