OFFICE OF GOVERNOR MATT MEAD
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead’s office has received word that the federal government approved Wyoming’s plan to implement the electronic exchange of health information. The sign-off on Wyoming’s plan releases roughly $4.3 million in funding over the next four years. This will support the exchange of electronic health information between health care providers across the state.
“Technology and broadband connectivity are great equalizers in a rural state like Wyoming,” Governor Mead says. “They create efficiencies that will save money, provide better health care and in this case also assure patient safety.” The use of technology in health care and expanded statewide connectivity overall are priorities for Governor Mead’s administration.
“I believe we must ensure that patient privacy is protected because that is paramount when dealing with health care information,” Governor Mead says. “I also want to make sure we have a system that is right for Wyoming.”
The plan to establish a system for the electronic exchange of health information in Wyoming was developed by a collaboration of consumers and health care providers. The work of that group will continue through the public-private entity, Wyoming e-Health Partnership Inc. Initial members of the organization’s governing board represent the state’s two largest hospitals, Wyoming Medical Center and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming, the Wyoming Medical Society and the State Health Information Technology coordinator, Wendy Curran. Curran is currently a member of Governor Mead’s staff.
Governor Mead says he has asked that the system provide patients across the state improved safety and quality, easier access to medical records in case of an emergency, privacy of medical records and reduced duplication of tests and procedures.
Lisa Brandes, M.D., president of the Wyoming e-Health Partnership, says the group will adopt policies and strategies to these ends and benefit the entire state.
“This is a great step towards an exchange of information that allows health care providers to access vital information when and where it is needed,” Doctor Brandes says. “We will engage Wyoming’s medical community and make sure the voice of patients is heard as we build this system.”