IHIN Keeps a Snowmobile Accident Victim From Getting the Cold Shoulder

When a patient sees a physician, RN or staff from the same care network, like UnityPoint or Mercy, their medical information and data are loaded into a system shared by everyone in the same network. But when patients seek care outside of their networks, how do doctors know about a patient’s history, medications, conditions and other medical information that helps staff make informed decisions and recommendations? 

Short answer: They usually don’t. 

Long answer: They usually don’t, but with the IHIN (Iowa Health Information Network), a lack of data-sharing is a thing of the past. The IHIN shares patient information across networks statewide, regardless of the facility or affiliation. The IHIN even provides alerts when patients receive care or prescriptions from someone other than their regular care staff.

Here’s what one Health Coach from Broadlawns had to say about her experience with IHIN:

One of our patients was in a snowmobile accident while he was visiting Northern Iowa, completely out of our information network. Thanks to the IHIN and the Statewide Alert Network (SWAN), we received a notification about the incident when the data was logged in the system. After getting the SWAN alert, we contacted the discharging hospital to get more information about our patient’s visit. Then, our Care team was able to follow up with the patient with a greater knowledge of what happened and what treatment he was receiving – even before he could reach out to us. 

He was very impressed with the level of detailed care he received from both facilities, and we wouldn’t have been able to make that happen without the IHIN. It’s a great way to ensure that patients don’t fall through the cracks when they receive care from a different facility.