Best Health Information Exchange: Where do You Fit in?
By now everyone involved with healthcare has heard about or been touched in some way by health information exchange (HIE). By the middle of 2013, about half of all physicians in the U.S. were actively using an electronic health records system. The question is, are they using the best health information exchange available?
The best health information exchange offers doctors, specialists and patients access to better care coordination. The goal is to provide better, more efficient and effective patient care.
So, what does the best HIE provide? First off, patients can’t receive the best care if they aren’t properly diagnosed, which means the faster and the more accurate the diagnosis, the better. Patients are also at risk of being given the wrong medications.
The best HIE, which offers more complete records in one central location, will prevent this from happening. Hospitals always have a goal of lowering their readmissions, which the best HIE will assist them in achieving, and they are also keen to lower the percentage of duplicate testing. Patients especially appreciate the time and expense they avoid through duplicate testing.
Before adopting an HIE, healthcare organizations have to consider several issues. They can choose a direct exchange where the provider sends their patient data directly to other professionals in the industry. The data is most often sent over the Internet, but with encryption so the information isn’t compromised.
There is also the query-based exchange that is a good fit for some providers. This is a method where the providers look up the data they need when they weren’t expecting to see the patient. Finally, providers can choose the consumer-medicated exchange. This type of exchange gives patients access to their information, which allows them to provide it to other providers of their choosing and update misinformation or missing information.
Providers that build their own HIE generally are larger hospitals that know exactly how they want their HIE to run to better suit the entire campus and satellite clinics. Some providers will go with a statewide HIE, which is federally subsidized to lower costs. Private HIEs offer excellent collaboration between providers.
Before any HIE choice is made, providers should take the HIE readiness self-assessment, which evaluates how ready the organization is to implement an HIE. It also helps them to consider the various technical, financial and operational issues that weigh on the success of the outcome of an HIE deployment.
Healthcare organizations looking for the best HIE are finding it at OffSite Image Management, Inc. OffSite has designed Honeycomb, a software layer that connects disparate digital silos. With Honeycomb on their side, providers are finding organizational stability and a completely secure data workflow. All data, including medical imaging, is stored securely and safely shared.
Originally posted 2014-02-04 13:00:50.