Case Study

Community Health Information Exchange:

A Community Hospital Perspective


A private, not-for-profit community health system that covers more than 20 counties in the Southeast is one of Centralis Health’s largest community health information exchange (CHIE) partners.

This health system operates a variety of facilities, including a more than 750-bed acute care hospital, specialty care centers, and nearly 40 affiliated physician practices.

Operating across such a broad geographic range means that this health system’s affiliated providers and practices are continuously connecting with outside providers, many of which are using disparate electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Participation in Centralis Health addressed these challenges and ensured easy access to patient records while abiding by HIPAA compliance rules.


By the Numbers

The vast majority of patients get healthcare locally, and the community health system’s region is largely rural. Patients routinely seek care from primary care, emergency department, specialized care and other providers based on location and convenience, meaning one patient can see providers within several different healthcare systems.

As a result, the community health system, like many regional healthcare systems, exchanges patient data with dozens of providers outside its system.

Despite modern advances in communication technology, many healthcare providers still rely heavily on fax technology and machines to transmit patient records, referrals, and other information.

Thousands of Pages Sent

A fax typically takes 1 minute to transmit each page, and they have a 5% to 8% failure rate industry wide.

For a regional community health system, that amounts to hundreds of thousands of pages each month.

CHIE partner to non-affiliated Providers


Approximate number of pages of patient records community hospital sends to non-affiliated providers each month.


Approximate number of hours spent transmitting fax pages each month.


Approximate number of faxed patient record pages that fail to send each month.


Non-affiliated providers to CHIE Partner


Approximate number of pages of patient records community hospital received from non-affiliated providers each month.


Approximate number of hours spent transmitting fax pages each month.


Approximate number of faxed patient record pages that failed to send each month.

How Centralis Eased the Process

The regional community health system leveraged Centralis Health’s hConnect and hMessage platforms to enact more efficient ways to connecting with other providers.

Via hConnect, the community health system is able to access and share patient information with other providers directly through the system.

And with hMessage, the community health system is able to send and receive patient records, referrals, and other information via the most efficient communication channel. The SentSecure process instantly transfers data with 0% failure rate and 100% full transparency.

The Results

Facility-to-Facility Exchange


The number of healthcare facilities in the region, including community health system and non-affiliate providers, who contribute and exchange records directly via hConnect each month.


The number of healthcare workers who access records monthly for direct patient care, rather than using legacy workflows that required fax and phone call 'request and wait' processes.

Patient Records Accessed


Number of patients whose records the community health system and non-affiliate providers exchange monthly via hMessage.


Average number of pages for each of the 6,500 unique patient records exchanged.


Number of minutes it would have taken to manually fax those records.


Speeding up the delivery of care by 541 hours.

Fast, Reliable Delivery


Percent of records the community health system sends to non-affiliate providers are sent via hMessage SentSecure.


Percent of communications initiated by non-affiliate providers that are being sent to the community health system are received via hMessage SentSecure.

Centralis Pointer_blue_down

“Centralis Health’s engagement and response to our crisis and access to the records within their system was a gamechanger,” said the health system’s chief integrations officer. “Our providers would not have been able to offer care as efficiently and effectively without the ability to obtain past medical record information. Centralis Health played a key role in allowing our organization to maintain vital clinical services for the community.”

Downtime Backup

In 2023, cyber criminals attacked the regional community health system. The healthcare provider went dark and was forced to shut down its servers, internet access, and EMR and other systems.

It took nearly 10 days to get all systems back up and operating normally.

Without access to patient records or the ability to communicate with referral partners, it would have been impossible to ensure continuity of care for the regional community health system’s patients.

Fortunately, the health system was able to continue near-normal operations by leveraging its connection to Centralis Health during those 10 days.

It used a cellular hot spots and tablet computer to access patient records via Centralis Health’s hConnect platform.


Number of their own patient records the community health system’s providers accessed via hConnect during the downtime when they lost access to their EMR/EHR applications.

Community health system providers were able to continue communicating with other providers – inside the system and non-affiliated providers – via hMessage.

Learn how Centralis Health can help your practice operate and communicate more effectively.