Tallahassee, FL– The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) announced today that Guardian Health Services has joined over 400 hospitals and health care providers as a member of the Patient Look-Up (PLU) network of the Florida Health Information Exchange (Florida HIE).
Guardian Health Services operates Florida Accountable Care Services (FACS), a management and services provider for accountable care organizations. With consent from patients or their designated representatives, the PLU service enables health care organizations and their affiliated users to utilize medical records through a secure connection.
Interim Secretary Justin M. Senior said, “As the Patient Look-Up network continues to expand, each additional member supports the effective use of electronic health record technology by creating a more robust framework. The Florida HIE is an impressive example of health care entities working together for better patient outcomes.”
The Florida HIE links a series of regional networks, or “nodes,” to a larger statewide network. Patient data is stored on secure local servers owned by individual nodes, but is also accessible to members of the PLU service who have the proper authorization from the patient. This structure provides members with the security of local control and the utility of a statewide exchange. Participants are also able to share information with authorized users across the country through the national eHealth Exchange.
The secure exchange of patient information between health care entities allows providers to maintain continuity of care and improve coordination. For example, a primary care provider can request information on a patient’s recent visit to the emergency department at a local hospital. This mitigates the risk of prescribing treatments when there is incomplete patient history and reduces duplicate procedures.
Dr. Sandeep Bajaj, Founder and President of Guardian Health Services said, “Guardian Health Services is excited to join health care partners throughout the state with the mission of improved care coordination. Through the Florida HIE, we will be able to offer our physicians a more complete picture of their patients’ histories, fostering improved care and communication.”
Health care facilities currently using the service include: Bethesda Health, Broward Health, CommunityHealth IT, Florida Hospital/Adventist Health System, Memorial Healthcare System, Orlando Health, Strategic Health Intelligence, Tampa Bay HIE, and UF Health.