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Puerto Rico Health Dept. launches online platform to manage patient data

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The Puerto Rico Health Department unveiled the Puerto Rico Health Information Exchange, a platform through which the agency seeks to establish new technological solutions to streamline patient care procedures.

This tool allows a patient’s medical information to be made available to doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other organizations when health care is required, Health Secretary Carlos Mellado said.

“We’re slowly moving toward the digitization of processes. With the PRHIE system, we have made excellent progress with the management of everyone’s health information in a fast and efficient way,” he said. “The goal of the website is for doctors and providers to be able to access patient data.”

“Likewise, having direct access to the person’s history, information that will facilitate the terms of treatment process. In addition, it will allow knowing if they’re allergic, the studies they’ve had done, their results and the medications they’re taking to determine the appropriate treatment,” he said.

The PRHIE seeks to facilitate the connection between hospitals, laboratories, 330 Centers, Radiology Centers, Diagnostic and Treatment Centers and insurance companies. In turn, hospital institutions may share data related to patient admissions, discharges, laboratories, and radiology results if they are transferred from one center to another.

“The PRHIE is an example of how centralized technologies are going to help provide better and more agile services to the citizen,” said Enrique Völckers, the government’s chief technology officer.

“The PRHIE is a benefit, even for patients, because they’ll have their medical history at hand, quickly and at any time. If necessary, they may attach information about their treatments done in facilities that aren’t connected to the PRHIE, so they can keep their health records up to date,” Völckers said.

The first medical facilities to connect in the first round of implementation are: the Bayamón Medical Center; Hospital San Lucas; Hospital Universitario Doctor Ramón Ruíz Arnau; Manatí Medical Center; Mayagüez Medical Center; Puerto Rico Women’s and Children’s Hospital; and the Mennonite Health System.

A second round of connections scheduled for July 15 will include: Caribbean Medical Center; Centro COSMA; Centro de Salud Integral en la Montaña (SIM); Centro de Servicios Primarios de Salud de Patillas; Hospital Auxilio Mutuo; Hospital Bella Vista; Hospital Buen Samaritano; Hospital Damas; Hospital de Trauma; Hospital Universitario de Adulto; Hospital Universitario Pediátrico; Hospital Pavia; Hospital San Cristóbal; Sala de Emergencias Centro Médico; and the Migrant Health Center.

“As the advantages of the PRHIE are better known, the intention is that all health-related institutions join the effort and take advantage of the technological tools that are available to make the medical processes of each patient easier,” said Mellado.

The data provided on the website will be protected by strict medical privacy and confidential procedures through ePHI security protocols in compliance with HIPAA law, he said.

However, if a person does not authorize their information to be disclosed through this system, they will have the alternatives to carry out the traditional process through printed forms, keeping them off the PRHIE, the Health Department confirmed.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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