Despite the popular usage of electronic data interchange (EDI) to transfer information between computers using a standard format, patient health records continue to be paper-based. The most common methods used to exchange this information between healthcare providers is either by fax or by physically transporting the files via mail, if not done through the patients themselves. Using electronic health information exchange (HIE) greatly enhances the accuracy of a patient's health records, which in turn improves diagnosis and makes for more effective doctor visits.
What is HIE?
Electronic health information exchange (HIE) refers to the process of transferring clinical patient information between healthcare providers; thus, facilitating access to a patient's complete medical history. The use of HIE is also essential in order to meet meaningful use criteria for electronic health record (EHR) technology, which mandates EHR systems to have the ability to transfer health information electronically between several health organizations.
Forms of HIE
Presently, there are three forms of HIE:
1. Directed Exchange – This form of exchange is mainly used by healthcare providers to easily send patient information to one another in a secure manner.
2. Query-Based Exchange – This exchange allows healthcare providers to access a patient's information, such as current medication or recent care, through a kind of search query in times of unplanned treatment or emergencies.
3. Consumer-Mediated Exchange – This method gives patients the ability to manage their own health information online and encourages them to actively participate in their health care.
Why is HIE important?
There are many cost savings associated with HIE. With access to up-to-date information on a patient's medical history, healthcare providers can skip on performing unnecessary or repetitive tests, which also saves time. Additionally, HIE eliminates the need for excessive paperwork.
The practice of HIE facilitates researchers to better monitor public health, encourages greater cooperation among health care professionals and organizations, and offers improved solutions to optimize their treatments and care services.
HIE is one of the core features needed to establish a solid national health IT infrastructure. Standards like C-CDA, HL7 and FHIR exist to ensure that medical information is formatted securely and uniformly so that patient information can be transferred and read easily.
In order for HIE to work, health care providers also need to use an EHR system that supports the format of the Continuity of Care Document (CCD) or the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) documents.
The infrastructure needed to support EHR systems can be extremely expensive and the resources provided by government HIT grants are limited.
Many health care professionals and facilities have recognized the benefits of HIE. Even though HIE initiatives vary from state to state, many providers have made an effort to develop their own local HIEs in order to be more efficient in terms of improved patient care and record coordination.
For more information on HIE software development services, visit chetu.com/hie
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