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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 pay our bills, do our shopping, or order a movie.

Recently, this technology has expanded to health care.  Doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and other health care 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 in 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.  This technology is also known as Health Information Exchange, or HIE.   

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 health care 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 it was done by another doctor.  This gives your doctor a more complete picture of your health when they are treating you. 

Click here to read more about WISHIN and HIE.