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WA program to limit emergency room over-use through data sharing

MyNorthwest.com / KIRO, May 22, 2012

Starting this summer, hospitals all over the state will be taking part in a new project to cut down on emergency room visits for non-emergency situations. It is part of a state mandate included in the supplemental budget passed last month. The collaborative effort between hospitals and ER doctors will incorporate a new computer system to help them better share information. Hospitals will be able to see if a patient has visited another emergency room recently. Doctors will be able to see how their performance compares with other physicians around the state. And, they will be able to cut down on narcotics abuse by seeing if a patient has already been prescribed a medication elsewhere.