The High Costs and Technical Barriers to Connecting the EHR to a HIE

The High Costs and Technical Barriers to Connecting the EHR to a HIE

HIEConnect - Enabling Efficient & Secure HIE Participant Connectivity

EHR vendors in a high competition market limit user health information exchange and interoperability

A recent study published in Health Affairs concludes that hospitals in more competitive regional EHR markets engage in less health information exchange (HIE) than those in markets where there is a dominant vendor. In the study, which looked at national data from 2012 and 2013 to examine how vendor dominance related to hospitals’ HIE level, researchers found that when an EHR had 20% market dominance, its users engaged in 59% more HIE than other hospitals. Conversely, researchers found that when the vendor controlled 80% of the market, its users engaged in only 25% more HIE than other hospitals. The findings suggest that when an EHR vendor has less market dominance, its users can typically only exchange data with each other, whereas when there is less competition, users are able to exchange data with other users. As healthcare IT blogger John Lynn astutely observed in a comment on a blog post covering the topic,

“The real problem with HIEs is that healthcare organizations are competitors and they don’t want to share (in many cases for good business reasons).”

In partnering with both private and private HIEs, we find that participants have varying internal knowledge and capabilities with regard to EHR integration and are often reliant on their EHR vendor to connect them to the HIE. Further compounding the issue, EHR vendors offer varying levels of interoperability capabilities – with some APIs more robust and straightforward than others. Most though, require intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the custom API, whether that is stored procedure calls to the database, web service calls, or the like. And lastly, the issue of EHR vendor availability for the project as well as the high costs that are often associated with standing up the endpoint. That provided the inspiration for us to build HIEConnect – to solve for “last mile” (or “first mile” depending on your perspective) connectivity to the EHR.

HIEConnect: Data Acquisition & Transformation Solution

Galen Healthcare Solutions HIEConnect

  • Low cost interface solution
  • Scalable, secure, extensible, plugin-based architecture
  • Rapid deployment with support for over 25 EHRs
  • Light-weight utility deployed in participants environment
  • Pulls incremental data from source EHR database
  • Supports delivery of data to HIE in multiple formats
    • HL7
    • CCDA
    • Custom APIs
    • Flat Files

In a recent webcast shown below, we introduced the HIEConnect solution and presented how it solves for data acquisition from participants through successful and secure onboarding without point-to-point interfaces.

Join us on September 7th, from 2-3:00PM EST, for a complimentary webinar presenting HIE participant on-boarding best practices. Register today!

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