Humana Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida are trying to speed up the shift to electronic patient records.[@@]

Humana, Louisville, Ky., and Florida Blue, Jacksonville, Fla., have formed a venture, Availity L.L.C., that will set up a Web-based, “payer-based” electronic health record program.

The system will draw on information already available from claim-processing records, Humana and Florida Blue say.

Doctors should be able to see the records with the computers and software already in their offices, and the system should be able to hook up to any new electronic health record systems that national, state and local organizations develop, according to Humana and Florida Blue.

Florida Blue has all of its customers, and Humana has a large business there. The state is highly vulnerable to hurricanes. Florida Blue and Humana say the devastation wrought by Katrina and Rita has illustrated the need for Web-based records that are stored offsite, backed up automatically and available for viewing from any location.