More than a dozen Kansas City-area hospitals will use a regional computer network to share their patients' medical information more efficiently.
The hospitals' participation in the Lewis and Clark Information Exchange was announced Tuesday. It allows the hospitals immediate access to such information as the patients' laboratory results, medication histories, allergies, immunizations and medical reports.
The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/UkgWzj ) Heartland Health, a St. Joseph-based health organization, created the computer network several years ago but turned it over to a board to operate.
Some of the hospitals participating are Truman Medical Centers, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, the University of Kansas Hospital and Olathe Medical Center.
Advocates say health information exchanges reduce costs by eliminating duplicate tests and the need to copy and fax medical records.