Some Iowa hospitals and clinics have begun using a state computer system to quickly share patient records.
Most hospitals and clinics have begun using electronic medical records, but many of their systems are so different they can't share information. The Iowa Health Information Network aims to solve that problem.
The network also lets hospitals search for records of patients seen at other Iowa hospitals or clinics that also are on the network.
Kim Norby, of the Iowa Department of Public Health, told The Des Moines Register that the system is mostly financed by more than $8 million the federal government granted Iowa under the 2009 economic stimulus.
A standard patient confidentiality form will, with patient consent, give a hospital authority to share information via the new system.