About

With connections, good things happen.

South Dakota Health Link connects hospitals, federally qualified health centers, primary care providers, specialists, labs and pharmacies as well as public health and other state agencies.

It’s a one-of-a-kind network that allows secure consultations and the sharing of test results with other providers for better patient outcomes.

Health Link is provided by the South Dakota Department of Health and guided by an active advisory council working toward a common goal:

Foster the sharing of information through a secure platform to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care provided to all citizens.

History


Our story dates back to 2006. That’s when the South Dakota Departments of Health, Human Services and Social Services funded the South Dakota Electronic Health Record Assessment (SDEHRA) project to investigate two key topics:

  • The usage of electronic health records in the state
  • The perceptions of providers and consumers in relation to electronic health records and health information exchange

The goals of SDERHA were to:

  • Assess variations in organization-level business policies and state laws that affect health information exchange (HIE)
  • Identify barriers and best practices relating to HIE
  • Identify privacy and security issues relating to HIE
  • Investigate HIE possibilities for South Dakota and surrounding region

Another important development in 2008.

The South Dakota eHealth Collaborative was established by the Governor’s Health Care Commission in 2008 to develop a long-range plan to facilitate implementing interoperable information technology to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare in South Dakota.

The Collaborative will work to address both the barriers found in the SDEHRA phase and the suggestions from the Zaniya Taskforce, which involved health information technology.

The following assumptions guide the eHealth Collaborative and the four workgroups:

  • People will continue to seek and receive healthcare
  • Documentation of that healthcare will continue to be needed
  • Health information exchange will continue to be needed
  • Electronic health records and electronic data exchange are happening and evolving
  • Single data entry is ideal

Mission and Goals

Mission

Foster the sharing of information through a secure platform to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care provided to all citizens.

Goals

  • To improve care by reducing medical errors associated with inaccurate and incomplete information to healthcare providers.
  • To reduce the cost of exchanging information among healthcare providers by increasing the use of electronic methods of sharing.
  • To improve communication among healthcare providers and patients in order to provide the right care at the right time based on the best available information.
  • To reduce the number of duplicate tests to give specialists a more comprehensive view of the patient upon referral, and to expedite the reporting of opinions between specialists and referring physicians.
  • To improve efficiency and value of electronic health records and to assist those physicians without an EHR to better organize and retrieve test results.