The recent focus of the government is slowly shifting towards HIEs and interoperable systems as EMR adoption continues to rise. Many health IT experts argue that while EMR may have been the core of the health IT movement initially, its importance lies in building the support pillars for a new system that extends far beyond the digitalization of health records. ’The vision has always been connected care but electronic medical records have helped open up new ways of information utilization and the possibilities are endless.’, says an industry analyst.
The eventual goal will always be better care. While EMRs have initiated the transition towards Accountable Care Organization (ACO), HIEs will undoubtedly help enforce these changes in the long run. HIEs help make care more accessible and as we move towards the connected care platform, professional information exchange will become a part of daily routine, helping physicians from all over the world in achieving better clinical outcomes.
’HIEs will bring forth the real potential of EMRs. When we talk about reduced medical costs and improved information processes, we are looking toward a connected healthcare system. Where information is more accessible, so that the doctor knows if the patient has been tested before and if the previous attending physician drew a similar conclusion.’, says a healthcare representative.
While HIEs may hold the key to the future of healthcare, it is important for the government to not look past the current stage. HIEs are still struggling and only a few have been able to effectively resolve technical issues. Experts believe that this is the most crucial period in the industry. Many venture capitalists are looking to push their funds in the industry that has shown enormous growth over the last few years. As the ONC moves towards standardization, it must consider the potential effect on an industry that is in its infancy. An incremental approach to development and implementation of HIEs is likely to yield better results.
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