Sometimes we forget how much computers and other technology have changed the way we live. For instance, thanks to online banking, we can now check our account balances or pay a bill whenever we want, using a home computer or even a cell phone. We have immediate access to cash using any ATM machine in the world.
The healthcare industry, however, has lagged behind other industries when it comes to using modern technologies to improve our lives. Fortunately, that is changing. The growing use of electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange (HIE) is allowing electronic heath information to be available securely -- anytime and anywhere doctors, nurses and patients need it.
The Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients, or CRISP, is a not-for-profit membership corporation advised by a wide range of stakeholders responsible for the healthcare of Maryland’s citizens. We receive input and advice from patients; hospital systems; physicians; insurance providers; technology providers; privacy advocates; public health officials; and advocates for seniors, the uninsured, and the medically underserved.
CRISP is formally designated Maryland’s statewide health information exchange (HIE) by the Maryland Health Care Commission, as directed by the state’s legislature and Gov. Martin O’Malley. CRISP has also been named Maryland’s Regional Extension Center for Health IT (REC) by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), with an objective of assisting 1,000 primary care providers to deploy Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and achieve meaningful use by 2014.
Together, CRISP’s REC and HIE efforts serve to advance health and wellness of Marylanders by helping healthcare providers to use EHRs in a meaningful way and enabling those providers to share clinical data with other providers and hospital systems across the state.