How does Health Information Exchange impact my practice?
Electronic health information exchange (HIE) allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health care providers and patients to access and securely share essential medical information electronically—which has the potential to improve the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.
Historically most Americans’ medical information was stored on paper—in filing cabinets at various medical offices, or in boxes and folders in patients’ homes. There has been a tremendous pushover the past several years to digitize the health care experience and to allow for increased accessibility and portability of health information.
Appropriate and timely sharing of vital patient information can better inform decision making at the point of care and allow providers to:
- Decrease duplicate testing
- Avoid medication errors
- Avoid readmissions
- Improve decision making
An important factor in electronically exchanging health information is the standardization of data. Once standardized, the data transferred can integrate into the recipients' Electronic Health Record (EHR), further improving patient care. There are currently three key forms of health information exchange:
- Directed Exchange – the ability to send and receive secure information electronically between care providers to support coordinated care
- Query-based Exchange – the ability for providers to find and/or request information on a patient from other providers, often used for unplanned care
- Consumer Mediated Exchange – the ability for patients to aggregate and control the use of their health information among providers
From ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap version 1.0, interoperability and information exchange should support the vision of a learning health system:
- where individuals are at the center of their care;
- where providers have a seamless ability to securely access and use health information from different sources;
- where an individual’s health information is not limited to what is stored in electronic health records (EHRs), but
- includes information from many different sources (including technologies that individuals use) and
- portrays a longitudinal picture of their health, not just episodes of care;
- where diagnostic tests are only repeated when necessary, because the information is readily available;
- and where public health agencies and researchers can rapidly learn, develop, and deliver cutting edge treatments.
Download the full ONC Interoperability Roadmap below: