The Value of Information

The utilization of the Health information exchange by providers was significantly influenced by EHR suppliers. 

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), the frequency with which HIEs were utilized was influenced by EHR vendor and patient variables.

Accurate patient data exchange is crucial for care coordination and cost reductions for both patients and providers. To connect providers and hospitals, however, a large amount of health information technology infrastructure must exist.

It enables health-care providers to connect to the Health Information Exchange. Compatibility is still an issue.

The researchers wanted to know how frequently HIEs were used in practice and on the market. The study team looked at the number of providers who were in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use and how frequently they used the HIE. They examined about 40,000 vendors. The percentage of referrals filed with electronic summaries of care (eSCR) was computed to assess how many clinicians used health information exchange (HIE).

The number of providers who employed HIEs was significantly influenced by EHR developers. The HIE was utilized by Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic Systems, GE Healthcare, and NextGen Healthcare. However, when it comes to employing the HIE, athenahealth and Greenway Health worked well together.

Employees of bigger health systems used HIE more frequently than those of smaller health systems with two to five providers. Workers in bigger health systems used HIE at a rate that was 3.8 percent greater than personnel in smaller health systems.

HIE was used more frequently by providers with an older patient group and a large number of diabetic patients than by those who did not.

The state’s HIE consent policy, on the other hand, was not contingent on any single health system’s participation.

The authors advise clinicians to use the data to evaluate the best EHR vendor practices and the most efficient HIE use. 

Defining the HIE 

Through the usage of health information exchange, medical institutions, HIOs, and government organizations may electronically communicate information about health care (HIE). 

HITECH supports the healthcare system by lowering costs, improving quality, increasing safety, and facilitating patient access (HIE). Additionally, groups of businesses or service providers might be a part of an HIE, which allows data exchange. 

The ONC developed the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) in 2004 to develop HIE standards, services, and legislation. They all agreed, for the purpose of a secure HIE, to follow the NHIN’s set of requirements. In 2012, the NHIN was renamed the eHealth Exchange. 

Participants agree, among other things, to trade health information, to match patients to their data without the use of a national patient ID, and to obtain and receive copies of health information from other participants.

The importance of HIE 

To achieve the best possible care, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests that all stakeholders involved in the patient’s care develop a plan of action. Increased communication between physicians and nurses also benefits patients’ safety and outcomes. 

Additionally, HIE can have a beneficial effect on people’s health. The AIDS Institute of New York relies on an HIE to track and manage the state’s HIV-positive people. In Healthix’s database, there were HIV-positive individuals and those who cared for them. To assist HIV-positive individuals, the Department of Health used the data to prioritize public health monitoring activities. It went as follows: 

For people who are unwell, HIE has a number of advantages. The Health Information Exchange (HIE) empowers patients to take an active part in their treatment by providing them with an electronic copy of their medical records that they may share with their doctors. Additionally, HIE use can improve patient-provider communication and satisfaction. 

HIE compliance with HIPAA and other acts 

Before they may open their doors to the general public, all health information exchanges (HIEs) must meet HIPAA regulations. The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to all 50 states, but it does not preempt any state legislation offering extra privacy rights and safeguards. 

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act has resulted in strengthened federal privacy and security requirements. Furthermore, it promotes HIE to the status of corporate partner. “Connected in such a way as to facilitate electronic exchange of health information in order to improve health care quality,” according to HiTECH. 

Some states allow people to opt out of the Health Insurance Exchange (HIE), while others do not. 

People in jurisdictions with “opt-out” rules can still automatically join the HIE, but they can opt out of having their data kept or revealed in the HIE. 

In opt-in jurisdictions, patients must expressly consent to the keeping or sharing of their health information. Even if you do not want your PHI to be released, it may be. 

Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts, uncovered an unauthorized link to the New England Healthcare Exchange Network at the end of 2016. (HIE). 

An outside vendor employee used a Codman employee’s credentials to get access to the Health Information Exchange (HIE) and patient data, including names, addresses, and dates of birth. The HIE user accessed more records than Codman did. 

HIE value in fighting Covid-19 

The widespread spread of Covid-19 has put a pressure on healthcare systems all over the world. Because of the virus’s rapid transmission, healthcare practitioners must have access to the most up-to-date information in order to provide the best care possible. 

For a long time, disaster relief efforts have relied on HIEs. People are regularly forced to flee their homes and medical records during hurricanes. In these instances, it is critical that a doctor gain access to key patient data via an IT system. 

Following COVID-19, HIEs around the country have upped their efforts to assist their members to the greatest extent possible. Man-made disasters, on the other hand, do not fall under this category. Several data exchange networks around the country assisted earlier this year during the COVID-19 event. Individuals were able to exchange information and organize their medical care because to these networks. 

Health information exchange (HIE) data comes from a variety of sources. This information includes patients’ diagnoses, such as whether or not they had a positive COVID lab test. Patients, according to Laura McCrary, president and CEO of KONZA, a Kansas-based national health information network that collaborates with numerous hospitals, need to know whether they were an inpatient or an emergency room patient, if they had any prior conditions, and how long they were in the hospital.

The United States is ramping up its efforts to assist doctors in treating COVID-19 patients. It serves as a good example: COVID test results, both positive and negative, are made available in Virginia through the state’s health information exchange, ConnectVirginia HIE. 

Collective Medical, the HIE’s supplier, offers the information required to build an ADT feed. This information, according to Virginia Health Information (VHI), which operates the ConnectVirginia Health Information Exchange, might be utilized to identify individuals who require segregation (HIE).