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A Blog Post

Meet the Rio Grande Valley Health Information Exchange (RGVHIE), serving the Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande Health Information Exchange (RGVHIE) serves the southern part of Texas along the border with Mexico. This region is growing rapidly — one of the region’s largest cities, McAllen, Texas, is also one of the fastest growing cities in the whole country.

It’s estimated that there are at least 1.3 million potential patents in the area that RGVHIE serves.

Texas Counties Served by Rio Grande Valley HIE

Brooks, Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Webb, Willacy, Starr and Zapata.

Already, RGVHIE has connected large institutions, like the Valley Baptist Health System, to small healthcare providers in the region, like the Salud y Vida Chronic Disease Program for diabetic patients.

But despite the increased growth, the region is still falls behind other areas of Texas and the rest of the United States in economic terms. Forty percent of the region’s families lived below the Federal Poverty Line — which is twice that of Texas as a whole and 2.5 times higher than the US average.

Uninsured rates are also very high; it’s estimated that between 36% and 38% of the population goes without healthcare insurance. The lack of insurance and economic issues are further compounded by an epidemic of diabetes— it’s been calculated that 31% of adults in the region suffer from diabetes.

In response to these difficulties, RGVHIE has implemented a Disease Registry which will enable creation of a Population Health Management (PHM) application that focuses specifically on Diabetes care and prevention. The application will link Electronic Healthcare Records (EMR) with relevant healthcare programs, such as community Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) and Diabetes Self-Management Support (DSMS). This healthcare information will be available to the area’s non-hospital-based community health centers (FQHC) as well as integrated chronic disease management programs at area hospitals and public health clinics.

There is still much work to be done, but Rio Grande Health Information Exchange has made a great start in linking Texas healthcare.

 

For more information visit the RGVHIE Website.

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