Hartford – Office of Health Strategy (OHS) Executive Director Victoria Veltri and officials of Connie, the state’s new health information exchange, today formally announced commencement of operations. Connie provides the technology infrastructure to allow safe and trusted exchange of patient data to improve delivery and coordination of patient care across the spectrum of the state’s healthcare providers.
OHS officials and Connie leadership noted the significance of the timing of the launch as Connecticut continues to turn the corner and build back after the past year’s coronavirus pandemic and its widespread, deleterious health effects.
“Today, I’m proud to announce the launch of our statewide health information exchange we call Connie, which provides the technology services to allow healthcare providers to exchange patient data safely and efficiently. Connecticut is now officially on the path that forty-five other states have traveled, with a more effective healthcare data delivery model,” OHS Executive Director Vicki Veltri said. “Information that is accessible in real time is critical for good healthcare; Connie will help providers and patients access information to improve care and lower overall healthcare costs.”
Today’s launch signals broad interest and support for data sharing across the state’s healthcare sector. Forty-four participants, including major health systems, community health centers, behavioral health providers, physician’s groups, medical practices, and the state’s health and human services agencies can now begin sharing data and the benefits of Connie participation.
Connie’s governing board of directors is enthusiastic about the exchange, and the benefits to the state’s healthcare delivery network including better sharing of clinical information across all healthcare settings to support care coordination among healthcare providers.
“As a practicing physician, I am pleased to support the launch of operations for Connie. Ensuring physicians have the most up-to-date clinical information on their patients is vital to empowering physicians and their patients to make the best decisions for their health,” said board member Allen F. Davis, MD FACP, of ProHealth Physicians.
“I believe Connie will transform healthcare delivery in the state for the better. Independent hospitals, and providers in particular are going to see tremendous benefits from data sharing and interoperability once connected with Connie,” Patrick Charmel, President and CEO of Griffin Health Services said. “They’ll have the same advantages as the member hospitals and health care providers of larger health systems that have migrated providers to a shared electronic health record including greater care continuity, better informed clinical decision making and more efficient care delivery resulting from the elimination of care redundancy.”
“The launch of Connie provides an incredible benefit to patients and providers in Connecticut,” Jenn Searls, executive director of Connie, said. “The capability to instantly share health information among providers in a confidential and secure manner means better and faster care, and fewer unneeded tests and procedures, medical mistakes, and costly medical bills in the health care system. Additionally, exchanging data through Connie creates a more accessible, timely, secure and transparent method for providers to access patient information.”
Healthcare providers value having a patient’s health information at the point of care. Dr. Joseph Quaranta, President of Community Medical Group, Co-Chair of the state’s Health IT Advisory Council, and practicing primary care physician attests to the benefits of health information exchange, “having a complete view of our patient’s health history, leads to better outcomes, improved patient satisfaction, and a more efficient healthcare system. Connie has been years in the making, with input from a broad group of stakeholders and is now ready to provide the vitally important information we need while prioritizing patient privacy.”
The commencement of operations establishes the start date for the legislative mandate for the state’s healthcare entities to connect with Connie. Hospitals and labs now have one year to begin connecting with Connie while all other healthcare providers have two years, meaning each of these organizations have the technical capability of sharing clinical data in a secure manner with authorized users.
Watch the press conference: OHS Connie Commencement Launch
Contact: Laurence Grotheer
Office of Health Strategy