Monday, July 14, 2014

Minnesota sees e-health transformation during the past decade

Minnesota has seen an e-health transformation during the last 10 years. Consumers have gained unprecedented access to their health information, and most Minnesota hospitals and clinics have moved from paper to electronic health records.

This was a key take away of the tenth annual Minnesota e-Health Summit is celebrating 10 years of the Minnesota e-Health Initiative. The Minnesota Department of Health released its most recent e-health data as part of the annual Minnesota e-Health Summit June 11-12.
In Minnesota, 93 percent of clinics and 99 percent of hospitals have adopted electronic health records systems that make health information readily available to both providers and patients. Before 2004, fewer than 9 percent of Minnesota hospitals and 17 percent of clinics had electronic health records.

According to Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger, these e-health advances are the result of a decade of work by thousands of Minnesotans in government, businesses, nonprofits, and health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and public health. “Minnesota has made great strides in health information technology to improve patient experience, health care quality, patient safety, and public health,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “We must continue to support Minnesota’s e-Health Initiative to achieve the next step of e-health which is the creation of policies and processes that not only impact individual health but also improve the health of all Minnesotans and their communities.”
To mark this achievement, Governor Dayton proclaimed June 11, 2014 as Minnesota e-Health Day. This June also marks the 10th Anniversary of the Minnesota e-Health Initiative, a public-private collaborative that has helped drive progress on e-health in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s e-health achievements include the following:

  • Consumer access to health information and online guidance has risen significantly since 2004.
  • 72 percent of Minnesota’s clinics now offer an online patient portal with access to personal health information, making monitoring of health easier.
  • 76 percent of clinics use automated tools to identify needed preventive care services; 70 percent use automated reminders for missing labs and tests; and 95 percent of clinics use medication guides and alerts.
  • 92 percent of Minnesota clinics report that electronic health records alert them to potential medication errors, and 96 percent report that the electronic health records enhance patient care in the clinic.
Though Minnesota is a national leader in e-health, there is still much work to be done in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field. Minnesota needs to ensure more providers, in addition to clinics and hospitals, adopt and use electronic health records. It also needs to ensure these providers can effectively and securely use and share electronic health information to better serve their patients and their communities. The future of e-health in Minnesota also includes a system that helps generate and share evidence about what practices are working and can promote healthy choices among Minnesotans and their communities. It would also support collaboration among care teams across settings such as hospitals, clinics, long-term care, behavioral health and public health.