Millions had to evacuate because of the severity of Hurricane Florence which has had an effect on healthcare information needs. The “Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange” (GRAChIE) https://grachie.org is working to connect eHealth Exchange participants in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida so important information can be retrieved from medical records.
GRAChIE has been expanding connectivity to HIEs throughout the Southeast via the eHealth Exchange as quickly as possible while the evacuees are housed far from their homes and from the medical offices where they would normally receive care utilizing their healthcare records Jay Nakashima, Vice President of ehealth Exchange, said, “It is important for physicians to have instant access to electronic patient histories to be able to provide safe and effective care.”
In another development related to care during disasters and emergencies, the Sequoia Project www.sequoiaproject.org is spearheading a nationwide deployment for the health IT disaster response platform known as the “Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies” (PULSE).
The PULSE system enables authorized disaster healthcare volunteers treating patients in field hospitals or outside of the normal care setting to be able to access patient records when they have been injured or displaced by disasters or other emergencies.
“Disasters and other events are unpredictable and disruptive and place unique demands on public health, private sector healthcare, first responders, and other key resources,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of the Sequoia Project. “People need seamless healthcare, whether for emergency care or to have uninterrupted prescription access when they are displaced by a disaster.”