Grace Cottage Hospital joins Vermont's Health Information Network

TOWNSHEND — Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL) recently announced that Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend is the latest hospital to connect to the state's health information network.

By connecting to the network, Grace Cottage Hospital can now securely share clinical information electronically with other treating health care providers, with the goal of improving the quality of care delivery and enhancing patient safety and outcomes.

According to Tony Marques, director of information technology and services at Grace Cottage Hospital, this step means that, pending patients' consent, patient health records will be made available to providers treating them in other health care organizations, allowing the team to make the best possible health care decisions for that patient.

Managed by VITL, the statewide health information network fulfills a critical component of Vermont's health care reform efforts to build and maintain electronic health information systems, VITL said in a press statement.

Through VITL, physicians whose patients had recently been discharged from or had a test completed at Grace Cottage will receive data about that care directly into their electronic health records systems. This ensures the data is always available for providers to use, and can help improve the quality of care, as providers will have faster access to more complete information, the statement continued.

With the addition of Grace Cottage Hospital, nearly all Vermont hospitals are now participating in the Vermont health information network. Work is underway to connect the remaining hospitals, VITL said.

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