CDC details health info exchange by office-based physicians

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its first national estimates on data exchange by physicians.

The agency on Wednesday released information on the types of patient health information that are electronically sent, received, integrated and searched for by physicians with EHR systems.

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Using data from the 2015 National Electronic Health Records Survey, the CDC found that among office-based physicians who sent PHI electronically, the most commonly observed types of PHI sent were referrals (67.9 percent), laboratory results (67.2 percent) and medication lists (65.1 percent).

In addition, among physicians who received PHI electronically, the most commonly observed types of PHI received were laboratory results (78.8 percent), imaging reports (60.8 percent), and medication lists (54.4 percent).

And for physicians who integrated PHI electronically, the most commonly observed types of PHI integrated were laboratory results (73.2 percent), imaging reports (49.8 percent), and hospital discharge summaries (48.7 percent). Further, the vast majority of physicians who searched for PHI electronically did so for medication lists (90.2 percent), medication allergy lists (88.2 percent), and hospital discharge summaries (80.4 percent).

“Registry data were found to be one of the least commonly shared types of PHI, only sent by 55.9 percent of physicians who electronically sent PHI, received by 43.2 percent of physicians who electronically received PHI, and integrated by 30.9 percent of physicians who electronically integrated PHI,” observes the report from the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics.

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“Having this information is a next step for research on EHR interoperability because it provides insight into the type of PHI electronically shared among office-based physicians,” according to the report, which makes the case that the data could be used as a benchmark for future studies. “Combined with measures of electronic sharing of PHI by physicians, information on the specific type of PHI shared electronically among office-based physicians will assist in tracking progress outlined in the federal plan for achieving interoperability.”

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