The Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of Monroe County now has fiber optic high-speed internet access, thanks to a public-private collaboration. The City of Bloomington, Bloomington Hospital, Indiana University, Smithville Digital, and the Bloomington E-Health Collaborative came together to establish a health information exchange program at the VIM clinic. Todd Rowland, executive director of the Bloomington E-Health Collaborative, says VIM gets three years of free internet access through a city-installed fiber optic network. Rowland says the pilot project should help improve the VIM health care providers’ access to care in a cost-effective way.
Rowland says the high-speed connection can facilitate clinical messaging, which is a secure way to send electronic lab results. He says as more health providers start to use this system, VIM can start doing patient referrals electronically. He says it will make health care coordination more effective. Rowland estimates the annual cost of the project is in the $100,000 range. The city of Bloomington installed the fiber optic conduit into the building at no cost, and Smithville is providing free Internet connection and network management services.