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State program offers secure way for Illinois doctors to exchange patient records

The Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE) has launched ILHIE Direct Secure Messaging Solution. ILHIE Direct, which will assist licensed Illinois health care providers in reaching Stage 1 Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHR), is available at no cost through 2012.
Physicians who subscribe to ILHIE Direct will be closer to achieving the Stage 1 Meaningful Use objectives and to obtaining EHR incentive payments of up to $44,000 from Medicare or $63,750 from Medicaid. Secure messaging allows health care provides to exchange important patient information securely in compliance with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. 

ILHIE Direct enables patient health information to be exchanged in a secure and encryted format from one provider to another with a Direct address (a special e-mail address). It is simple, quick and available at no cost to Illinois providers through December 2012. It allows for the exchange of information such as notes, continuity of care documents, referrals, and summary of care records that lead to a more efficient coordination of care and improved patient health outcomes. 

According to Laura Zaremba, Director of the Office of Health Information Technology; “Thousands of licensed Illinois providers are enthusiastically participating in the electronic health record incentive programs offered by Medicare and Medicaid, and ILHIE Direct was developed specifically to help those who need a secure exchange solution to qualify for the financial incentives.  This is the first of many services that will be available through the ILHIE to support better patient care” Zaremba continued.
The ILHIE was created by state statute in 2010 to encourage the adoption of health information technology to improve the safety and quality of health care.  The development of the ILHIE is being funded through a federal grant program established to allow states to assist their health care providers and hospitals with the exchange of electronic health records.  
Licensed Illinois providers who are interested in adopting th ILHIE Direct Messaging Solution at no cost should visit to learn more and register through the ILHIE Direct portal. Provider questions can be directed to Cory Verblen at (312) 793-0430 or via e-mail to [email protected] 
The Illinois Office of Health Information Technology is working with The Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority to promote the development of health information technology, increase the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records, assure the privacy and security of electronic health information, and direct the implementation of the statewide health information exchange. The main goals of this exciting technology are to improve the quality of health for all Americans while reducing the cost of health care delivery. Illinois is committed to making these important goals a reality.