The CAL INDEX, also known as the California Integrated Data Exchange, is a health information exchange in the state of California that is set to cover about 9 million health information records. This is about one fourth the population of California. The startup cost for the first 3 years of operation for this not-for-profit independent organization is estimated to be roughly $80 million. The money for the startup cost is set to be provided by Blue Shield of California and Wellpoint. After the 3 year period, funds will be provided through subscription fees paid by the insurers and participating providers.

The CAL INDEX will be used by hospitals, physicians, nurses, and any other health data contributor. Other insurance companies will also have access to this HIE. The data held within will not only be used to help reduce cost, increase healthcare quality, and streamline transitions between healthcare plan, but it will also be used to help improve public health. It intends on doing this by de-identifying patient health record and allowing researchers to access them.

As stated earlier the CAL INDEX is a health information exchange (HIE). HIEs play a vital role in health informatics. Health information exchanges store and transfer patients' electronic health records (EHR) between physicians, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, and other healthcare providers. This is a crucial part of technology in the field of health informatics, as it helps lower the cost of healthcare and improve quality of healthcare by making patient information more readily available. Having this information easily accessible helps create new technology quicker, helps identify health risks in a particular area, and most importantly help healthcare professionals have more information to better care for their patients.

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Related Terms:
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE)
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • Longitudinal patient records (LPR)
  • Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
  • Meaningful Use

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