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Health Information Exchange: Overview & Role in Meaningful Use

Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the mobilization of healthcare information via electronic means across organizations within a region, community or hospital system. The data provided by these systems can be used to improve quality of patient-centered care in an effective and timely manner. There are 255 known HIE initiatives nationwide. One of the most important […]

Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the mobilization of healthcare information via electronic means across organizations within a region, community or hospital system. The data provided by these systems can be used to improve quality of patient-centered care in an effective and timely manner.

There are 255 known HIE initiatives nationwide. One of the most important uses of data derived from HIEs is to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2. It is being used for nearly 65% ePrescribing and formulary checking. HIE makes Patient Clinical Summary available and according to estimates, nearly 55% of lab data is merged into EHR software.

EHRs allow patients to view, download and transfer health data, see electronic summary of care record, communicate between patients and physicians and send imaging results into the system.

They also allow reporting useful data to regulatory bodies. Data about any government campaign can be readily made available and sent to relevant state or federal agencies.

One of the most important aspects of having a Health Information Exchange medium is to select the best vendor for it. Choice must be made based on how flexible is the platform, what kind of user experience it offers, what is the cost of implementing the system, how good is the customer service, how much time it will take for all the necessary configurations and deployment. Last, but not the least, the reputation of EHR vendor is very important. Selection must be done based on user ratings and customer reviews about each and every aspect of the software.

As per a survey, nearly 25% of EHR users are going to re-evaluate their vendors in the next year as they are experiencing poor customer service, complexity in configuration and have cost and implementation issues.

Just in 2012, almost $1 million were spent on implementing EHR systems by physicians nationwide. As per another estimate, by the end of 2013, nearly 80% of US physicians will have EHR systems implemented and might be looking to replace them because of their lack of forward integration with new regulatory changes.

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