Health Information Exchanges, or HIEs, are one of the most talked about topics in healthcare and healthcare IT today. Every time information about HIEs or Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) is posted online, interaction on Twitter and Facebook increases substantially, proving that health IT professionals are searching for information so they can stay informed on these modern initiatives.
According the definition in our Healthcare Interoperability Glossary
, an HIE focuses on the mobilization of healthcare information electronically across organizations within a region or community, with the goal of facilitating access to and retrieval of clinical data
Why so much interest in these collaborative health organizations? Because building interfaces between health organizations for the purpose of exchanging health data to lower costs and provide better patient care is the Holy Grail of the current modernization of healthcare technology. This is reinforced if you follow the government’s incentive money trail, which encourages EMR adoption (Meaningful Use incentives) and will begin to reward higher quality patient care (ACO Medicare reimbursements).
In an attempt to get a head start on future Meaningful Use requirements, many health organizations are attempting to create their own HIEs. Rob Brull, product manager at Corepoint Health, was recently interviewed by Healthcare IT News
about how new HIEs should be built if they hope to exist on a long-term basis.
- Keep it simple. Upstart HIEs should start with a realistic foundation from which they can grow, rather than trying to be everything too soon.
- Understand your revenue sources. Clearly understand upfront what the participants are willing to pay.
- Estimate the costs. The value of any grants plus the continued revenue sources must not exceed the present value of the costs.
- Foster alignments with ACOs. If the providers in an HIE will be participating in an ACO, the future shared savings can be used to help fund HIE operating costs.
- Ensure patient privacy. HIEs must be sure they follow EHR criteria for privacy and security because the damaged caused by a health information breach would be catastrophic.
- Start with a federated model. This model is easier to implement and keeps startup costs low.
how Corepoint Integration Engine
was able to build interfaces in a fraction of the time, and how great customer support is an essential component of an interface engine. Special thanks to Michael for the kind words.
An essential point through all of this is we need to continue to collaborate and share information on what is working and how the various elements are coming together for the new care delivery models being incented and driven forward. HIEs are a part of the new world of health care, just as are ACOs. In the middle of both need to be well-performing and designed workflows and IT infrastructure to make it all work in a well-orchestrated, high-quality manner.
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Tags: Health Information Exchange
, Healthcare CIO
, Healthcare Interoperability