Kristin Levine, a registered nurse, calls a patient from Bristol Hospital. Connecticut is one of the few states that don't have a broad health information exchange, a singular place where every practitioner involved in a patient's care can access medical records. Connecticut is preparing to launch one this fall. Yehyun Kim /
Kristin Levine, a registered nurse, talks to a patient on the phone at Bristol Hospital.

As the state’s Health Information Technology Officer I am grateful for the CT Mirror story published October 15 about imminent activation of the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE). The story included terrific comparisons with other states about how Connecticut providers can use the HIE to create efficiencies and improve healthcare treatment here.

Connecticut’s HIE will improve care coordination and make available critically important patient data under some emergency conditions, though it will never supplant the care provided by front-line healthcare workers who are putting themselves at risk every day.

The Office of Health Strategy acknowledges that the implementation of any data system will not in and of itself offer lifesaving capabilities – that remains the purview of well educated, trained, and dedicated healthcare professionals.

Connecticut’s HIE will soon provide front-line healthcare workers and other healthcare providers with relevant and timely data to assist with triage, treatment, and mitigation measures for patients requiring a broad range of medical treatment.

It is gratifying to know that data is flowing more generally in recent years to hospitals and clinics, the way it already flows directly to the state Department of Public Health and the Office of the Governor from hospitals, for instance.

Again, we’re grateful to the CT Mirror for keeping its readers current with this vitally important progress in the state’s healthcare delivery system.

Allan Hackney is the CT Health Information Technology Officer.

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