The State of Health Information Exchange: Necessary Utility or Ineffective Model?

The State of Health Information Exchange: Necessary Utility or Ineffective Model?

Health Information Exchange (both the noun and the verb) is one of the most polarizing topics in healthcare. Interoperability has long lagged in healthcare, for a myriad of reasons, and data liquidity has long been called for. Interoperability comes at a cost though, and in an environment of security threats, compliance requirements, identity challenges and various standards to nagivate, Health Information Exchange (the verb) progress has been slow.

However, despite wide criticism, Health Information Exchanges (the noun) have served to provide many benefits including delivery of health information and care coordination in emergency and disaster scenarios, increased safety/reduced duplication, and improved care/reduction of medical errors. In fact, return-on-investment from Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) has been demonstrated, as found by an updated systematic review of recent studies of health information exchanges. The study found evidence that HIEs reduced both the cost of healthcare and its use, according to researchers at Indiana University. In addition, researchers found community HIEs were more likely to produce benefits than proprietary or enterprise health information exchanges.

With this background, and inspiration provided by a post last year from John Kansky, President and CEO, Indiana Health Information Exchange, challenging the notion that HIEs have ‘reached the limits of their effectiveness,’ we embarked on development of a whitepaper, with the goal of amplifying the impactful work that is being done in pockets, and raise awareness that HIEs are indeed alive and well. The whitepaper, entitled “Health Information Exchanges: An Integral Component for Optimizing Value-Based Care,” underscores the critical capabilities that HIEs offer to foster needed care coordination for success in value-based care. The vanguard of HIEs are providing quality reporting

We would like to cite the following individuals for their contributions and perspectives, and sharing the innovation and groundbreaking work they are doing foster sustainability, advance the HIE value proposition, and ultimately improve patient care and outcomes in their respective communities.

  • Todd Rogow, Senior VP & CIO, Healthix
  • Doug Dietzman, Executive Director, Great Lakes Health Connect
  • Charles Christian, VP, Technology & Engagement, Indiana Health Information Exchange
  • Shaun Alfreds, CEO, HealthInfoNet
  • Mark LaRow, CEO, Verato
  • Kelly Hoover Thompson, CEO, SHIEC
  • Morgan Honea, CEO, CORHIO
  • Chris Copeland, COO, ICL
  • Dick Thompson, Chairman, SHIEC

We invite you to read the full whitepaper (abstract below) and certainly welcome and value any feedback you may have.

Health information exchange (HIE) organizations have proven themselves effective and efficient in coping with many of the interoperability challenges faced by the healthcare industry today. However, many HIEs were financed by public programs whose funding limits have now been reached. HIEs will need to quickly become self-sustaining if they are to continue delivering desperately needed services.

The good news is that there are many strong HIEs that are delivering continuous value to their communities. Other HIEs have the opportunity to look to them for guidance and best practices. As they are a linchpin to delivering the interoperability needed for value-based care, it is critical for HIEs to follow best practices, increase capabilities, and expand adoption.

This whitepaper provides HIE definitions and background, describes the components of an HIE, and elaborates on advanced use cases that provide for compelling value proposition and foster sustainability.

Lastly, we implore you to read a related resource published by the ONC last September: Connecting Public Health Information Systems and Health Information Exchange Organizations: Lessons From the Field.

Please contact us to receive more information regarding HIE, including participant on-boarding considerations, data acquisition methodologies , and client best practices.

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