The New Jersey Department of Health has awarded $1.57 million to a coalition of health organizations to create and operate a statewide network that will enable the sharing of patient health information electronically. The New Jersey Health Information Network is designed to connect regional health information organizations that are currently exchanging data among local healthcare providers. Department of Health commissioner Mary O’Dowd announced the grant last month at the New Jersey Technology Council’s Health Information Technology Summit in Princeton.
“The creation of the New Jersey Health Information Network will further expand the use of health information technology and health information exchange to better coordinate patient care in our state,” O’Dowd said. “NJHIN will allow appropriate healthcare providers across the state to have electronic access to patient information such as medical histories, medication allergies and lab test results at the point of care.”
Healthcare providers will connect to the network through their regional health information organization, which is a group of physician offices, hospitals and laboratories that electronically exchange patient health information among their members to improve health and delivery of care in a community.
NJHIN is expected to become operational in early 2014. The network will initially connect approximately 2,000 providers, which is planned to increase over time.
The NJHIN coalition was chosen through a competitive request for applications process. Funding to create NJHIN is provided through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT grant.