When Jennifer Mueller, MBA, RHIA, SHIMSS, FACHE, FAHIMA, was the vice president and chief information officer at Watertown Regional Hospital, she knew her facility had to connect with WISHIN.
“(In 2013,) I knew it (HIE) was going to be a thing because it HAD to be a thing,” Mueller says. “I made the decision to partner with WISHIN.” Mueller says, at that time, the primary focus of her job was to help Watertown make the transition from paper medical records to electronic medical records. Watertown was WISHIN’s first participant. “We didn’t sign up to be the first,” says Mueller. “We happened to be first because we were ready.” Watertown Regional Medical Center had long been recognized as a leader in the implementation of health information technology. The next step was having the ability to connect to other communities, which WISHIN provides. “Ultimately, the goal is to share information so our patients can get it anywhere in the country,” she adds.
Mueller is now the vice president and privacy officer at the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center. She is a member of and holds Fellow certifications from the American Health Information Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Mueller knows the value of WISHIN. She wants others to know it, too. “The use of WISHIN is helpful in a lot of different ways,” Mueller says. “Sharing a patient’s medical data could eliminate duplication of tests and hold down costs. An expensive MRI, for example, would not necessarily have to be performed again if a patient’s record showed he or she had just had one a few days earlier. You just know more about that patient.” Mueller also felt that WISHIN assisted her organization better manage the flow of information. “Reducing the administrative and resource burden of these communications is another one of the excellent benefits of participating in WISHIN.
“I absolutely cannot understand why anybody would not participate in WISHIN.”
For more information on Jennifer Mueller and the rest of the WISHIN board, go to wishin.org.