On Monday AT&T announced that it is partnering with Tennessee to create the nation's first statewide system to electronically send health records and other patient data between providers, the AP/Tennessean reports.
The system also is designed to allow medical professionals to securely access patient records, submit prescriptions via the Internet and transfer diagnostic images, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
The system will connect to the state Department of Health to allow providers to access the immunization and disease registry, death certificate processing and medical license renewals. In addition, physicians can use the system to remotely evaluate patients in rural areas.
AT&T will create a private portal within the secure network that it already provides for agencies in the state.
Antoine Agassi, director and chair of Gov. Phil Bredesen's (D) eHealth Council, said the state's deal with AT&T should keep costs down for individual prescribers. In addition, physicians can apply for state grants to help offset the initial costs of implementing the system.
Tennessee and AT&T will spend most of the year working on the system and hope consumers will begin to see a change by the end of 2008, according to Agassi (Schelzig, AP/Tennessean, 2/25).