Written by: Center for Care Innovations

Health Information Exchange to Improve Care in Medically-Underserved Rural Areas

A regional health information exchange is expanding throughout rural California.

Technology Hub participant Shasta Community Health Center — along with other providers in the 12-county North Central Valley and surrounding mountainous terrain — had a common vision of improving patient care coordination by improving communication between everyone involved in their care. That would include primary care and specialist physicians; other health care providers, such as optometrists and dentists; acute-care facilities, including hospitals and nursing facilities; county public and behavioral health services; and, of course, the patients themselves.

We spoke with organization leaders, Charles Kitzman, chief information officer at Shasta Community Health Center and a SacValley MedShare board member, and Elizabeth Steffen, project manager at SacValley MedShare, to learn more about the origins and operations of this health information exchange, and what’s next for the regional effort.