Photo provided by Jon Hirsch -- Cindy Munn, center, chief executive officer of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, meets with Gonzales Rotarians Fritz Englade Jr., left, and Mayor Barney Arceneaux during the club’s Jan. 20 meeting in Gonzales.

Cindy Munn, chief executive officer of Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, talked about the Affordable Care Act during the Gonzales Rotary Club’s Jan. 20 meeting in Gonzales.

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum was formed after Hurricane Katrina, Munn said.

She said Gov. Kathleen Blanco saw the need for health care redesign after the hurricane resulted in patient care information being lost and treating patients from the affected areas proved to be a challenge. This effort eventually resulted in the creation of the forum, she said.

The Health Care Forum is a private, nonprofit organization that works with health care providers, payers and consumers.

“The aims of the health care forum is three-fold,” Munn said. “They are to better health for populations to better care for individuals and to work toward cost containment.”

She said her agency created the Louisiana Health Information Exchange, a system that helps with sharing of patient information. In addition, the Health Care Forum is helping health care providers across the state to establish electronic health records that are connected to the information exchange system, she said.

“Electronic health records help reduce having to complete paper forms, provides for better tracking of medications, is more secure and provides ready availability of records in an emergency,” Munn said. “Coupled with connection to the data sharing provided by LaHIE, information from electronic health records has provided for the expansion of analytical capabilities, which has been useful in improving treatment and in helping to contain health care costs.”