US Coast Guard launching EHR system
Many organizations are implementing electronic health records to reduce costs, enhance patient care, improve security and meet regulatory compliance standards. However, hospitals and healthcare providers aren't the only ones adding EHR systems to help them store, manage, protect and recover medical information.
The U.S. Coast Guard is preparing to launch its integrated health information system (IHiS) and recently announced it's seeking a vendor to provide service desk support. The Coast Guard has already reorganized critical workflows and information systems to accommodate the upcoming implementation of the IHiS system, which will also support the State Department's healthcare functions. According to the USCG's official solicitation for service desk support, the contract will require the provider to complete document management tasks, indexing, system maintenance, performance monitoring, security monitoring, database administration and configuration management.
According to a Government Health IT report, the USCG will host the electronic health records system at its operations facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The organization is also working with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs to join the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) Exchange. More than 35 organizations are currently members of the NwHIN Exchange, including the Department of Defense, Social Security Administration, South Carolina Health Information Exchange, Department of Veterans Affairs and several other health systems and universities, according to the ONC's website.
The Coast Guard also plans to implement a mobile network capable of allowing employees to access IHiS data on laptops, tablets and smartphones via a secure connection.
With private health information being accessed wirelessly and on several devices, it will be vital for the Coast Guard to ensure all networks, servers and data are properly protected, experts say. Improved security is one of the top reasons many healthcare providers adopt EHRs, helping them adhere to HIPPA requirements and share information more effectively with other organizations.