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Arkansas Blue Cross Awards Arkansas Rural Health Partnership $250,000

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP) recently received more funding from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield for its digital health network.

This extra $250,000 funding will support participating Arkansas hospitals and clinics in improving how they exchange patient information.

In January 2020, Arkansas Blue Cross provided an initial grant of $817,000 to ARHP.

ARHP is a nonprofit organization made up of 14 hospitals and two federally qualified health centers spanning south Arkansas. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) supports and works closely with the partnership on professional health education and public health issues.

What is SHARE?

Arkansas Blue Cross’ funding helps the partnership’s hospitals and their clinics maintain their participation in the State Health Alliance for Records Exchange (SHARE).

The Office of Health Information Technology (a division of the Arkansas Department of Health) oversees SHARE. SHARE provides ARHP hospitals and healthcare providers with real-time patient information.

SHARE lets users transmit and exchange patient information such as clinical care summaries, vital signs, medications, allergies, continuity of care documents (CCDs), transitions of care documents, immunization records, laboratory results, radiology report transcriptions and discharge summaries.

Providers can instantly send clinical information to other providers, which means quicker and better care for patients. SHARE’s daily reports give ARHP healthcare providers a 24-hour snapshot of critical events such as emergency room visits and inpatient discharges.

SHARE’s vision is a healthier state population and an improved healthcare system. With these improvements, caregivers and patients have electronic access to more complete health records. Ultimately, better health decisions can be made.

Its mission is to improve the delivery, coordination and quality of healthcare in Arkansas. SHARE’s health information technology and clinical data exchange will help in accomplishing this goal.

Why is SHARE important?

“ARHP hospitals and clinics have been able to use SHARE to collaborate with other medical facilities and quickly get patients the care they need,” said Curtis Barnett, president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross. “This funding is a continuation of our effort to provide quality investments in sustainable initiatives that improve care for the citizens of Arkansas.”

Arkansas Blue Cross representatives recently visited the campuses of every 16 ARHP hospitals to thank them for their hard work in the ongoing effort to fight COVID-19, connect with them on the progress of SHARE, and provide support funding to help offset some of the maintenance costs.

“Through SHARE and Arkansas Blue Cross, our member hospitals have been able to share and have access to patient data, which has been crucial during the pandemic,” said Mellie Bridewell, the partnership’s CEO and a UAMS regional director of strategy, management and administration. “This continued financial support for 2021 helps these rural hospitals focus on caring for their patients and communities.”

ARHP hospitals and FQHCs receiving funding for SHARE include:

  • Ashley County Medical Center
  • Dallas County Medical Center
  • Magnolia Regional Medical Center
  • Medical Center of South Arkansas
  • Ouachita County Medical Center
  • Baptist Health – Stuttgart
  • Mid Delta Health Systems
  • Helena Regional Medical Center
  • Dewitt Hospital and Nursing Home
  • Delta Memorial Medical Center
  • McGehee Hospital
  • Chicot Memorial Medical Center
  • Mainline Health Systems
  • Jefferson Regional
  • Drew Memorial Hospital
  • Bradley County Medical Center


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