Patient Perspective: WISHIN’s Role

There has been a lot of change over the past 20 years due to computers and technology. Today, computers help us do many things, including paying our bills, doing our shopping, or ordering a movie.

Doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations are using technology to provide you with better care and to become more efficient. Electronic health record systems, called EHRs, allow your doctors to store your health information on the computer so that they can more quickly and efficiently access those records when you have a visit. While not every doctor has a computer system, most do – and the ones that don’t are likely to get one soon.

Not every doctor you see uses the same computer system. In order for your doctors to share health information about you, they need something to help get the information from one computer to another. This is where WISHIN comes in.

WISHIN, which stands for Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network, provides technology that helps your doctors share your health information over a secure computer network. Organizations that provide this technology are known as Health Information Exchanges, or HIEs.

Nearly every state has some type of HIE. Some states have more than one. In Wisconsin, the state chose WISHIN to be the organization that would offer this technology to healthcare organizations across the state. Even though WISHIN was chosen by the state, WISHIN is not part of the government.  WISHIN is a private, not-for-profit organization.

With WISHIN, your doctors are able to see important information about your health even if that care was delivered elsewhere. This gives your doctors a more complete picture of your health when they are treating you.