For Immediate Release: July 31, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, Ofirah.Yheskel@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Health: Maribeth Brewster, (804) 864-7008, maribeth.brewster@vdh.virginia.gov

Virginia Launches First-in-the-Nation Program to Connect Emergency Departments Across the Commonwealth

New technology solution will help hospital emergency departments communicate and collaborate to improve patient care

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the launch of Virginia’s Emergency Department Care Coordination (EDCC) Program. This single, statewide technology solution connects all emergency departments in the Commonwealth, facilitating near real-time communication and collaboration among health care providers, health plans, clinical and care management personnel for patients receiving emergency medical services. The program also integrates the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program and the Advance Healthcare Directive Registry. Virginia is the first state in the nation to connect all of its emergency department systems in this way.

“Virginia continues to be at the forefront of health care innovation, and the ED Care Coordination Program marks an important step forward in making sure Virginians in every part of the Commonwealth have access to the highest quality of care,” said Governor Northam. “With this secure technology, we can provide emergency medical personnel with access to a patient’s critical medical information in a timely way, which will increase effective and efficient care, avoid duplicative tests, reduce unnecessary costs, and improve health outcomes.”

“Near real-time, up-to-date information in an emergency department can assist health care providers in so many ways, from treating patients with chronic disease to knowing what medications to avoid prescribing to a patient with allergies,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Daniel Carey. “When you have the right care and the right information in the right setting, you are able to make the best decision for the individual patient.”

In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly established the EDCC Program within the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). This effort has involved extensive collaboration between health systems, health plans, physicians, VDH, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Health Professions. The program is directed by VDH, which contracts with ConnectVirginia to operate the EDCC Program. Collective Medical Technologies, Inc. is the technology partner.

“The ED Care Coordination Program will help ensure appropriate care in the appropriate setting for patients, while also ensuring that their personal health information is secure,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “This program can offer peace of mind to patients and health care providers alike. I applaud the countless individuals who have worked collaboratively to make this program a reality, which helps safeguard the health and well-being of all people in Virginia and moves the state closer to becoming the healthiest state in the nation.”

Next steps include the participation of the State Employee Health Plan and all non-ERISA commercial and Medicare health plans operating in the Commonwealth by June 30, 2019. Additionally, the EDCC program will expand to include other downstream providers, including primary care physicians, case managers, nursing homes, community service boards, private behavioral health providers and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), who will have the ability to use the technology solution to receive alerts and contribute to patients’ care coordination. 

For more information on the EDCC Program, visit www.connectvirginia.org. 

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