Health Information Exchange Featured Article

December 20, 2011

Mirth Corporation to Bring the Technology Needed to Make New Orleans a Beacon Community

Mirth Corporation, a provider of commercial open source healthcare information technology, announced that the Crescent City Beacon Community (CBCC), will use its interoperability and care management solutions to connect doctors with the information they need to treat patients effectively, and to improve quality of care across the greater New Orleans area, according to a press release at

The Beacon Communities are where patients can get medical care for free.

CBCC is one of 17 federally funded Beacon Communities nationwide, according to the press release. The program is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide $8.5 million to fund 85 centers across 15 Beacon Communities, with these grants. CBCC will also work to improve healthcare treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular patients, according to the press release.

The Beacon Community Program provides grants to communities to help them build stronger health information technology (HIT) infrastructures, promote meaningful use of HIT, and speed up “progress toward a safer, more connected, efficient and effective healthcare system,” according to the press release.

CCBC will use Mirth's hosted tools and technologies to link the flow of patient information between healthcare providers across the community and to create a shared HIT infrastructure to coordinate care of chronic disease management.

"We selected Mirth after a thorough panel review by the CCBC partners of the technology platforms and vendors specializing in connecting disparate health information systems," said Gaurav Nagrath, chief information officer for the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the Health IT Lead for CCBC, in the press release. "Their broad, flexible and integrated solution covers the gamut from multi-system interoperability support and secure hosting, to broadly accessible Direct Project protocol based secure e-mail, and a comprehensive care management platform that has been tested in large scale implementations. We expect to have our first elements live within 90 days, a challenging timeframe for projects of this size and complexity."

Mirth will integrate data from Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems already in use across the greater New Orleans community, “including four of the top five ambulatory EHR systems in the market today,” according to the press relase.  Don’t yet have an EHR system? Medical practices without one will still be able to participate by using the Mirth Results portal solution, or by using Mirth Mail to securely send or receive patient information.

"The Mirth team has been working for over a decade on improving health and healthcare by applying smartly designed solutions to power population-based care management and community-wide connectivity," said Jon Teichrow, co-founder and president of Mirth Corporation. "The Crescent City Beacon Community project brings the full suite of Mirth capabilities to the forefront -- from the bottom to the top of the stack. We're honored to be serving such a forward-thinking client and play a part in improving healthcare across New Orleans. This is a high quality demonstration of what's possible for communities across the U.S."

Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves