Health Information Exchange - Providers
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 P3N Certified HIOs across Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). Although specific clinical documents data will differ per participating HIO and their members, data in response to a P3N query generally includes allergies, clinical documents, diagnoses, inpatient emergency department, outpatient emergency department, immunizations, lab results, medications, pathology reports, patient demographics, problems, procedures, radiology reports.
The P3N also operates a statewide alerting service using real-time admission discharge transfer (ADT) messages from around 150 acute care hospital emergency department and inpatient encounters. When a patient is receiving care in one HIO and they have a clinical history with another HIO, the P3N ADT Service forwards those related ADTs to the patient's home HIO so that their home HIO can alert that patient's care team of the encounter. In 2022, the P3N ADT Service welcomed the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) to support improved care coordination when Delaware residents are receiving care in Pennsylvania and when Pennsylvania residents are receiving care in Delaware. A list of facilities sending ADTs can be found here.
Overview of 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.
**Not all HIO member organizations are capable of, or choose to, submit all available data to their HIO. A more specific list of clinical documents available by each HIO and HIO Member Organization can be found here.
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 (English) (Spanish) 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.