Michelle Rupp: Welcome back. Thanks for joining us. We have added Anne Santifer into the mix with us today and you’re with the organization SHARE. Why don’t we first start by talking about what SHARE stands for and what’s the organization.
Anne Santifer: Sure! SHARE is Arkansas’s only statewide health information exchange. And what that means is earlier, Nathan talked about providers purchasing electronic medical records, right, to do their day-to-day business in a computer rather than paper format. Well, much, much like Apples and Androids, EMRs, electronic medical records, don’t generally talk to one another. So, health information exchange came about around the same time that you know, the ONC Grant was founded to support electronic medical record systems in a way to kind of be the translator between the different organizations.
MR: So, a person, just, just a regular person on the street, myself who doesn’t know about the technology world. Is it correct in thinking and I think that I visit my primary care, and she has her documents and my medical records. But then she recommends a specialist. And so in my mind, I’m thinking, okay, great. My record should already be at the specialist’s office. Is that correct thinking or is it flawed thinking? It’s probably not that simple though.
AS: Can be. It depends on if your providers, if both of your doctors are participating in SHARE. So, SHARE is a voluntary program where doctors can choose to sign up. They send their data to us. We are the keepers of it. So, we hold it all in one safe and secure location. So, it can be that simple as long as both providers are participating in the health information exchange.
MR: And as you said, they have the option to opt in. But not everyone participates.
AS: Correct. Not every doctor participates. Today SHARE has 79 hospital systems that are participating as well as over 1500 provider practice sites, that are contributing data. We have another 2500 or so that just retrieve it. So maybe, you know, they don’t have a sophisticated electronic medical record or maybe they are not quite ready to jump into that pool of sharing data, but they still need to access some information. They still want to know what happens when you go to the hospital. So, we have a lot of information. We have data today on 3.4 million Arkansans.
Nathan Ray: That’s just amazing because, you know, we were talking about the system in the program where we were helping folks adopt and upgrade systems for electronic health records across the state. And there were zero records in SHARE. And here we are with millions of records that are available to health care providers to make our care better in the state. So, I think that’s a really good thing and a testament to what SHARE has done and then also Arkansas providers. It’s amazing.
AS: So, a lot of times and you may not know this, you know, when you fill out the paperwork at the doctor’s office, somewhere in there, there’s some language that says it’s ok for you to share. My data would share. So there’s tiny language in just about every doctor’s offices paperwork to educate you. And we do webinars and we have flyers and anything we can do to educate the doctors, but also the patients on the benefits of this.
MR: Well, that is just fascinating.