Statewide health information exchange to launch in Montana | Local News

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The exchange should help with this road block, Branscum said.

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“We had to make sure those medical records followed her,” Branscum said.

Branscum noted a study where the Colorado health information exchange reduced health information retrieval times from 29 hours to six minutes. The New York health information exchange reduced the average hospital stay by 7%.

Big Sky Care Connect

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, left, talks with John Felton of RiverStone Health, Jean Branscum, CEO of the Montana Medical Association and Dr. Randy Thompson, chief health analytics officer for Billings Clinic, right, before a roundtable to discuss Big Sky Care Connect on Thursday.

Patient notifications have helps save about $1.25 million, or about $488 per hospitalized patient, by avoiding readmissions, Branscum said.

Providers can sign up to use the exchange system, and patients can choose not to have their information accessed and can opt out of the exchange. Independent providers will pay $288 per year, or about 80 cents per day to use the service, Branscum said.


If a patient receives a COVID-19 test, the results will be available to every health care system in the exchange, according to Randy Thompson, chief health analyst officer at Billings Clinic.

“We don’t have a way to share our test results from system to system to system,” Thompson said. “We’re not aware of any testing outside of our system, so that will be an immediate benefit.”

When a patient is admitted into a hospital for COVID-19, providers will be able to access vital health information immediately, like pre-existing conditions that may put a person at greater risk for complications. They can then check the status of someone’s asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

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