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Galveston County Health Information Exchange

 The Galveston County Health Information Exchange (GCHIE) database is being created and hosted by UTMB as a web-based “community health record” that stores patient demographic and encounter information for uninsured and/or underserved patients to be utilized by partner medical providers in making patient care decisions. The GCHIE is a Master Patient Index and Clinical Data Repository (MPI/CDR) which stores patient data that’s collected from GCHIE partner systems via electronic interfaces. Developing a Health Information Exchange (HIE) makes it possible for partner medical providers in Galveston County to share patient data through a common infrastructure without all partners having to employ the same EMR System. Patients give permission for data to be “shared” or viewable by end-users by signing an authorization form.

The Galveston County Health Information Exchange (GCHIE) project is part of a grant funded by the Houston Endowment, Inc. in the amount of approximately $330,000. The grant covers costs/expenses related to the planning, development, and implementation of the GCHIE.

GCHIE database will contain the following data:

  • Patient information & demographics
  • Encounter information (treatment location and type of service)
  • Attending/treating physician
  • Medications
  • Diagnoses
  • Lab information
  • Patient authorization forms with dates (viewable via PDF in GCHIE)

Current GCHIE Partner Organizations

  • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • The Gulf Coast Center (MHMR)
  • St. Vincent’s Nurse Managed Health Clinic
  • Galveston County Health District (GCHD)

Progress to Date

Recently, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) awarded $75,000 in Planning funds to the Galveston County Health Information Exchange (GCHIE), which is one of seventeen statewide organizations that received an award.  Currently, the Galveston County HIE is comprised of representatives from UTMB, St. Vincent’s Nurse Managed Health Clinic, Gulf Coast Center (MHMR), & the Galveston County Health District.  The purpose of the award is to expand local health information exchange capacity and assist regional coalitions throughout the state of Texas in the planning, implementation, and sustainability of local HIE initiatives and networks.  With the Planning funds, Galveston County HIE intends to expand local HIE capacity and develop a Business and Operational plan to support core HIE services within the region.  Once the Business and Operational Plan is complete and Galveston County HIE has satisfied its Planning phase contractual obligations, HHSC will have the option to extend the contract and award a second round of funding for the Implementation phase.  Ultimately, the goal is to enhance health care quality and effectiveness for all patients by building an infrastructure made up of interoperable electronic health records composed of standardized, structured data elements that are exchanged among authorized health care providers across a secure regional or statewide network. The grant period is from April 2011 to September 2013.

State/Regional HIE Collaboration/Participation

For additional information about the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) and related state HIE strategic and operational plans, please visit www.thsa.org


GCHIE Fact Sheet


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Phone: 409.747.2789 • Fax: 409.747.2795 • HPLA.mail@utmb.edu
Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, Galveston, TX 77555-0916