VITL’s Role in Health Care
Vermont Information Technology Leaders Inc. (VITL) is working toward a transformed health care system where health information is secure and readily available when people need it. Central to this mission is the Vermont Health Information Exchange (VHIE)—a data network operated by VITL—which gives health care providers in Vermont the ability to electronically exchange and access patient data.
VITL collects and manages patient data from many sources and makes it available to authorized providers—with patient consent—through this data network. Information that is available to providers includes demographics, laboratory results, discharge summaries, radiology reports and medication histories. This information is a subset of a patient’s complete medical record, and is important to all providers who are involved in a patient’s care.
Imagine visiting friends or family in another part of the state, and suddenly experiencing a medical emergency that requires going to a hospital you have not been to before. Health information from your regular primary and specialty care providers that is stored in the VHIE—such as medication history and results from past procedures—may be available to a provider in the emergency department.
However, access to this information depends upon your written consent, which is the authorization to allow providers to access the information about you in the VHIE. In this case, you as a patient can give consent by filling out a form while visiting the emergency department, or while visiting your doctor’s office. Once you give consent, any treating provider will be able to view your information in the VHIE. The benefits include not having procedures repeated or having to remember your medications and doses.
Access to patient information at the point of care is helping providers make more informed clinical decisions. For example, a Vermont oncologist was treating a patient whose referral notes from another provider indicated a diagnosis of rectal cancer. By accessing the actual pathology report through VITL’s secure provider portal to the VHIE called VITLAccess, the oncologist quickly discovered that the correct diagnosis was anal cancer, which is treated in a very different manner.
Timely access to this information in the VHIE proved to be crucial in providing the proper treatment and care for this patient, as well as saving the emotional stress and financial costs of an incorrect treatment.
For Health Care Organizations
Health care reform initiatives are dependent on the analysis of clinical data to improve health at a population level. VITL is using the power of the VHIE to help Vermont’s accountable care organizations and the Vermont Blueprint for Health to achieve their patient care objectives.
Health care in Vermont is becoming more patient centric, and VITL has an important role in this transformation. Contact us to lean more about VITL and our services.
Technology Leaders, Inc.
1Mill Street, Suite 249
Burlington, VT 05401