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HIEs more pervasive, interacting with community and social service groups

The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative finds health information exchanges are increasingly moving data and partnering with at least one or more entities.

HIEs now are connecting blood banks, first responders, school nurses, drug and alcohol treatment programs, dialysis centers, social services organizations and correctional health, among other entities.

In its first national HIE survey, SHIEC found that 92 percent of the nation’s population is served by HIEs that belong to the national organization. Indicative of HIEs’ increasing maturity is that more community and social services organizations are moving significant volumes of data through HIEs.

Data from the survey indicates that HIEs are exchanging 3.3 billion messages each year and delivering 453 million alerts of admissions, discharges and transfers of patients, with HIE vendors helping to improve care coordination and support the Patient Centered Data Home Initiative.

“In a value-based healthcare environment, HIEs are partnering with the community and social services agencies that help clinicians care for the whole patient, and they are exchanging significantly more data than any other national exchange network,” says David Kendrick, MD, founder and CEO at MyHealth Access, an HIE in Tulsa, Okla., and a member of SHIEC’s board of directors.

Kendrick also highlighted the Patient Centered Data Home Initiative, saying it is the only national interoperability network to proactively deliver alerts, which helps ensure patients’ information follows them wherever they seek care.

Survey results show real progress for the HIE community, says Kelly Hoover Thompson, CEO at SHIEC.

“These results not only demonstrate tangible progress toward interoperability in the sheer volume of alerts and transactions, but they also underscore the value of the community in supporting and gathering data from organizations that advance care for the whole patient.”

For health organizations that are considering getting involved in a health information exchange, Kendrick offers a series of ideas on how to get started, how to start drumming up the need for HIE and what resources are needed.

The first step is to visit the web page of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, which has maps to help an organization find the closest HIE. He also suggests working with local legislators to get funding for a local non-profit HIE to reduce duplicate testing in the community, measure the region for quality and outcomes, and acquire the data needed to manage local disasters, among other needs.

More information on SHIEC’s report can be found here.

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