Alaska’s Department of Health this week awarded the state’s health information exchange, HealtheConnect Alaska, a new contract to expand its data services across the state.
The two-year, $5.6 million contract was announced Tuesday. Exchange officials said new funding will help it to reach more regions where access to quality care has been historically limited.
“Health information is essential to the high-quality and cost-effective care of Alaska’s patients, and this new contract reaffirms the state of Alaska’s confidence in HealtheConnect to provide that critical infrastructure,” Gene Quinn, chair of the HealtheConnect board, said in a press release.
Alaska’s health information exchange was founded in 2009 and is used by medical professionals to securely share health care information across the state. In 2021, the exchange started working with the nonprofit technology infrastructure provider CRISP Shared Services and has since more than doubled its user base. Other regions working with CRISP include Connecticut, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.
By ensuring the timely exchange of medical information, HealtheConnect, and other state health exchanges like it, aims to improve health outcomes, reduce total care costs and improve care for patients when moving between providers.
Alaska’s health information exchange has helped to modernize the state’s health care system, Mary Swain, executive director and CEO at a medical clinic called Camai’i Community Health Center, said in the press release.
“Without it, we’d be lost – still relying on paper medical records and outdated workflows, like fax machines,” she said.