More Coordination, Better Patient Care

Article Date: Mar 7, 2016 Media Contact: Kathy Sarantos Niver

March 1, 2016 — Lower health care costs. Better medical care. Satisfied patients. The continuing partnership of CHI Health and the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) is helping make all of these possible.

NeHII is a secure, web-based Health information exchange sponsored by Nebraska physicians, hospitals, clinics and health insurance companies. It’s designed to serve the state with improved delivery of health care information. CHI Health is a regional health network consisting of 15 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities and more than 150 employed physician practice locations in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.

With the latest addition of six CHI hospitals, 62% of hospital beds in the state will be connected to Nebraska’s health information exchange. The recent additions include CHI Health St. Elizabeth and CHI Health Nebraska Heart in Lincoln, NE; CHI Health Good Samaritan in Kearney, NE; CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, NE; CHI Health St. Mary’s in Nebraska City, NE; and CHI Health Plainview in Plainview, NE.

Nine other CHI Health hospitals already participate: CHI Health Bergan Mercy, CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center; CHI Health Lakeside, CHI Health Immanuel, CHI Health Midlands, CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs, CHI Health Mercy Corning, CHI Health Missouri Valley and CHI Health Schuyler.

“Through NeHII we are able to access patient histories electronically without having to make phone calls or wait on fax machines to get important information,” said CHI Health Chief Medical Information Officer and Board President of NeHII Michael Westcott, MD. “Doctors, hospitals and other health care providers can do this securely after the patient consents to having his or her health information shared.”

Dr. Westcott said NeHII is especially helpful in emergencies or if a Nebraska resident receives care from a provider or hospital in another part of the state or a neighboring state: “Providers now will have access to a patient’s past history including medications, medical problems, surgeries, etc.” "It is with great enthusiasm we add these additional hospitals and their providers from the CHI Health system while linking the entire state to one another through NeHII,” said Deb Bass, NeHII chief executive officer “Statewide exchange has been a challenge for many states, but Nebraska is on the brink of proving it can be done and done successfully.”

Patient participation in NeHII is optional. While NeHII would like everyone to recognize the benefits of participation, patients may decide not to share their medical information and may opt-out of the exchange simply by contacting NeHII at the www.connectnebraska.net website at any time.

NeHII has functioned as a public-private collaborative that currently reaches more than 2.9 million lives in Nebraska and six bordering states. NeHII's vision is to be a leader in the secure exchange of health information, enabling a healthier Nebraska.

For more information, contact:
Deb Bass, Chief Executive Officer
NeHII, Inc. 402-981-7664

About CHI Health

CHI Health is a regional health network with a unified mission: nurturing the healing ministry of the Church while creating healthier communities. Headquartered in Omaha, the combined organization consists of 15 hospitals, two stand-alone behavioral health facilities and more than 150 employed physician practice locations in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. More than 14,000 employees comprise the workforce of this network that includes 2,820 licensed beds and serves as the primary teaching partner of Creighton University’s health sciences schools. In fiscal year 2013, the organization provided a combined $130.7 million in quantified community benefit including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With locations stretching from Kearney, Neb. to Missouri Valley, Iowa, the health network is the largest in Nebraska and serves residents of Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northern Kansas. For more information, visit online at CHIhealth.com and CHINebraska.org.


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