ME's HealthInfoNet picks 3M to build system

Funding, though, is still elusive.

Planners of Maine's ambitious HealthInfoNet project, or HIN, three years in the planning have moved another step towards reality with the selection of 3M to build the system, The Bangor (ME) Daily News reports.

HIN would gather essential health information about individual patients from Maine hospitals, doctors, clinical labs and other sources and make it available to clinicians at other participating locations through a secure Internet system. The goal is to reduce medical errors, keep patients healthier and help hold down costs.

HIN may save $40 million to $50 million in health care spending each year in Maine. An initial two-year trial could begin as early as the end of this year, at a projected cost of about $6 million.

Maine is one of nine states chosen by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to get some administrative support for developing an electronic health information system, Culver said. The other states are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Indiana, Colorado, Tennessee, California and Utah. Each state is developing its own system, sharing successes and failures along the way.

"We bring our good thoughts to the table and gain insight from others who are doing well," said Culver.

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