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Bruce G. Arnold

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

Bruce G. Arnold

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//March 8, 2010//

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Chances are if someone in Wisconsin makes a trip to the emergency room at a local hospital, attendants will have a snapshot of the person’s medical history in seconds.

As chair of the National Institute for Medical Informatics, the umbrella organization for the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, attorney Bruce G. Arnold helped develop a system which allows a network of area hospitals to access patient information from a confidential central database.

“In a sense, it allows first responders and emergency room employees to Google your name,” he said.

In other words, someone who is a primary patient of Aurora gets into an accident near St. Francis hospital on the south side of Milwaukee can have their history searched on site to identify any allergic reactions to drugs.

He said the network is also a useful tool to help track the H1N1 virus.

“This system allows public health folks to have a constant snapshot of hot spots,” Arnold said.
Arnold is a managing partner in the health care practice at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC and said while the system is designed to provide convenience, the road to implementation was extremely complex.

“From a legal standpoint, the first challenge we had was to develop a privacy and security framework for inter-organizational transmission of health care information,” he said.

The network currently has 12 participating health care systems and several others close to joining, Arnold said.

Beyond his efforts with the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, Arnold also serves as a trustee for the Faith in Our Future Trust, an organization which raises money for Catholic education.

Arnold was recently on-hand for the installation ceremony for the Milwaukee Archdiocese new archbishop Jerome Listecki.

“It’s one of my personal passions,” he said of his involvement with the Catholic faith.

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