HIE Connectivity Strategies in Healthcare

According to a HIMSS Analytics report “Current State of Health Data Interoperability in the United States,” healthcare organizations are moving to create private, or enterprise-level health information exchange solutions to skirt the bureaucracy and long-term uncertainty of joining and connecting to public HIE organizations.

The report, which was commissioned by Corepoint Health, details HIMSS Analytics’ findings from a focus group they conducted at the end of 2013. Focus group participants consisted of health IT leaders from provider organizations of all sizes from across the country.

Download the complimentary HIMSS Analytics report.

The participants’ rationale for the shift from membership-based HIEs to enterprise HIEs, according to the report:

“These hospitals see the private HIE as a more reliable way to leverage their significant investments in interoperability in order to efficiently and effectively coordinate care as patients visit various providers and healthcare facilities within a geographical healthcare market. They also see private HIEs as a potentially more profitable model that they can sustain over the long term as the industry moves toward a valued- and outcome-based healthcare delivery model.”

The report listed a variety of enterprise data sharing methods, including:

  1. Physician portal
  2. Dropbox/secure file sharing
  3. Remote appliance or device
  4. Interface engine

While the first three methods are better than sharing no patient data at all, they are merely workarounds for true interoperability between EHRs. Here at Corepoint Health we believe health organizations should fully integrate and utilize the structured health data they receive from affiliated organizations. Real interoperability should be focused on the highest level of semantic interoperability.  It should also fit into current workflows and help caregivers get the most out of the technology already in place.

Anything less is just kicking the interoperability can down the road.

For more on the report, see Difficulties Aligning HIE Stakeholders