Health exchange signs first physician practices

Wichita Health Information Exchange said it has signed its first physician practices to participate in the countywide network.

Family Medicine East and Wichita Family Medicine Specialists have signed business agreements to participate in the exchange.

"Information from physician practices is vital to launching a health information exchange in our medical trade region," said Jon Rosell, executive director of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, which founded WHIE.

The exchange also has agreements with Newton Medical Center, Via Christi Health and Wesley Medical Center, which were signed last month.

The agreements outline a number of measures participating providers will adopt, including privacy and security standards — protecting patient information — authorized users and technology requirements.

The system is intended to increase efficiency for health care providers, lower the costs of health care and improve patient outcomes. Health officials have said the system will also have positive implications for public health, including identifying potential epidemics.