Health Information Exchange
The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership is responsible, under Act 76 of 2016, for the creation and maintenance of Pennsylvania's secure health information exchange, known as the PA Patient & Provider Network, or P3N.
How does this work to improve care for my patients? For you as a health care provider, the P3N improves and coordinates patient care by helping you to find your patients' medical records—in real-time—anywhere on the P3N network. For example, imagine you work in an Erie emergency room and are treating a patient following an accident, but the patient's family doctor is in Altoona. If your hospital and the remote family doctor are connected to the P3N through a certified regional network, called a health information organization, or HIO, you can request the patient's medical records from that doctor. This could prevent a dangerous drug interaction or the deadly administration of a drug to which your patient is allergic. Patients and providers benefit from these connections through reduced redundancy of tests, better coordination of care, improved patient safety, and lower costs.
The P3N exchanges data among five HIO members across Pennsylvania. Although available data will differ per the contributing HIO, data may include: allergies, clinical documents*, diagnoses, inpatient emergency department, outpatient emergency department, immunizations, lab results, medications, pathology reports, patient demographics, problems, procedures, radiology reports. Currently, discrete emergency department ADT messages are shared across the P3N as part of the statewide encounter notification service. For a list of facilities sending ADTs, click here.
** At this time, HIOs are only making available to the P3N Continuity of Care Documents (CCD, CCDA Summary of Episode Note). Sections of the CCD are populated from contributing HIO Member Organization (MO) data sources. Clinical data available from the P3N is dependent on what the MO makes available to the HIO. An example is if an MO is the only data source for clinical data on a patient and only provides history & physical and encounter data to an HIO, the CCD retrieved from the P3N will only contain that data. Currently, discrete documents such as individual radiology and lab reports for patients are not available to the P3N.
Document Types Available for Exchange across the P3N
Available Data Per HIO
*Clinical documents MAY include but are not limited to H&P, Operative Summary, Consultation Report, Procedure Note, Progress Note, and Office Notes.
What if my patient has opted out? Under the law that created the P3N, any patient whose health care provider is connected to the P3N will have his or her medical records automatically available for exchange across the P3N to other providers who need it. However, a patient who does not want his or her medical information available for exchange across the network may opt out of the P3N by completing and submitting a patient opt-out form to the eHealth Partnership. If your patient has opted out of the P3N, your query for the patient's medical records will generate a message confirming the patient's opt-out status, and no medical information will be sent.
How do I join the P3N? Providers wanting to connect to each other through the P3N must first connect to a certified regional network, called a health information organization, or HIO. As of November 2017, there are five P3N-connected HIOs exchanging patient medical records. The eHealth Partnership has created a Choose Your HIO web page to help you in your selection of an HIO.