Healthcare News & Insights

Study finds growth in sustainable HIEs

Enthusiasm for health information exchanges (HIEs) is growing among healthcare organizations, as HIEs are becoming more effective.

HIEs allow organizations to cut costs and provide better care by electronically sharing patient information across multiple providers, making sure that all a patient’s doctors have easy access to the person’s health data.

A recent survey of 340 hospitals found that nearly 80% have joined or plan to join an HIE.

That high interest comes as HIEs are increasing in quality, according to the eHealth Initiative’s recent report, “Health Information Exchange: Sustainable HIE in a Changing Landscape.”

Of the 196 exchanges looked at in the study, 24 were found to be “self-sustaining” — meaning they have little to no reliance on federal funding, have a continual stream of patient data and are maintained through sources directly attributable to their advantages. That number is up from 18 sustainable HIEs found last year.

The report also found that a majority of those sustainable HIEs were at the Stage 7 level of development, meaning they offer value-added services such as advanced analytics, quality reporting and clinical decision support.

One example of a self-sustaining exchange cited in the report is Sandlot, LLC‘s North Texas HIE.

Sandlot’s sustainability is helped by its use of physician involvement at all levels of developing and maintaining the exchange, including product development, leadership and governance.

Sandlot also continually updates and expands its products and services for physicians.

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