The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ), in association with five other state medical societies and The Physicians Foundation, announced on Tuesday the formation of the first of its kind $500,000 interoperability fund, known as The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund.
The fund will assist medical practices in effectively sharing clinical information with other physicians and hospitals through health information exchanges (HIE). Funding is available for physicians in participating states with an electronic health record system (EHR) and will be allocated to practices on a first come basis.
“The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund comes at a time when many voices are calling for interoperability of EHR systems. This grant is the largest investment of private funds to assist physicians with health information exchange,” said Larry Downs, chief executive officer of MSNJ in a statement. “The establishment of this fund demonstrates the commitment and support of the Foundation for practicing physicians,” said Downs.
According to MSNJ, sharing timely clinical patient information among physicians and hospitals with disparate EHRs relies upon a connection to an HIE. Through The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund, HIE participants can access patient data regardless of where the patient received care. Sharing of this timely information will improve clinical outcomes, reduce inefficiencies and improve patient safety when fully implemented.
“MSNJ is leading the effort to connect medical practices through OneHealth New Jersey. The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund is designed to offset costs for small medical practices to connect to the HIE,” according to Dr. Kennedy Ganti, chair of the OneHealth New Jersey Advisory Board. “Many EMR vendors charge medical practices considerable fees to build EMR connections. These grant funds help remove the cost barrier,” Ganti said.
Other medical societies participating in the fund include Connecticut State Medical Society, Medical Association of Georgia, Louisiana State Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Association and the South Carolina Medical Association.
“EHRs continue to be a major source of burden for physicians across the country. In conjunction with these state medical societies, The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund will provide resources for improving information exchange across participating states,” said Dr. Gary Price, president of The Physicians Foundation. “Our hope is that this initial Fund can be scaled nationwide to ensure physicians can effectively share timely and critical health information to ultimately improve health outcomes and care quality for their patients.”
Physicians in New Jersey seeking more information about The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund or about OneHealth New Jersey should contact MSNJ’s CEO Larry Downs at (609) 896-1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.