Health Information Organization finds growth, partner in Eastern Georgia.
The foremost health information exchange in Georgia is also one of the largest, and fastest growing. The Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE) has just under a million patients, and 11 sites live.
That may not sound like a lot. But the combined populations of Savannah, Augusta, and Macon – the largest metro areas GRAChIE covers – total roughly 420,000. The other half million patients are scattered across eastern Georgia – some of the poorest and most rural parts of the state.
Tara Cramer, GRAChIE Executive Director and one of its two employees, says HIEs are most needed in rural areas. “Seventy miles is a very common commute for a patient in one health system in our state.” Now, no matter where they are, their medical records are at their fingertips.
GRAChIE is the product of Cerner, and its partnership with two major health systems – Georgia Regents and Navicent Health Using Clinical Exchange Platform (CEP), Cerner’s enterprise HIE solution, GRAChIE has grown 450 percent in data sources in the last six months. In that same time period, its system utilization grew 250 percent.
Cramer doesn’t see Cerner as her HIE solution vendor – she sees Cerner as her partner. “I’m really proud of the relationship we’ve built with Cerner. I don’t know how we could be this successful without that kind of partnership.”
Though it currently has 11 sites live, 30 more are waiting to come online. Of those eleven, only two use Cerner. Which, according to Cramer, is one of the best parts of working with Cerner.
“GRAChIE really is EMR agnostic,” she said. “It really is a flexible system. Not everyone – especially in our rural areas – can have advanced software, or have the latest and greatest codes. We understand that.” She added, “there are definitely systems out there that are lagging behind.”
This eastern Georgia health information organization is one of only three Cerner HIE clients not affiliated with a hospital or health system. It is designed to be flexible enough for large health systems, rural critical access hospitals, and small practices to use it.
“We want to be an interoperability broker for providers,” Cramer said. “We want to offer shops the tools for everything from patient centered medical homes to ACOs to Meaningful Use.”
“I hear a lot of my peers talk about the struggles they have with their tech vendors,” said Cramer. “I’m confident the product Cerner has now has a solid foundation. And I’m confident we can have good discussions with Cerner as we look to the future of GRAChIE.”
Click here to read a Savannah Business Journal article about GRAChIE’s partnership with other HIEs in Georgia.