HIE Reality - Connection Yet to Be Achieved - Cover

HIE Reality - Connection Yet to Be Achieved

As the February sun reflected off the ATM, I counted out the cash I would use to buy some gifts in Cabo San Lucas for friends and family back home. In just seconds I was recognized by the system and rewarded with the cash I needed. But, how does this common experience relate to health information exchanges (HIEs)?

First, the day will come when HIEs will be a thing of the past. At that point there will be a magical cloud between the care provider and any medical information they need on the patient before them. The source of the information will be co-resident but the highway will be anonymous. Getting the necessary patient records from a separate organization will hopefully be as painless as requesting cash from an ATM. 

Until we get to that point we will see regional sharing of a patient’s relevant health information through sheer elbow grease.

KLAS’ recently completed study revealed a fruit basket of HIE approaches and successes with many single organizations, but no mass success. Few are live that have met initial objectives. Also, many providers think HITECH will disrupt successful HIE operations that are gaining traction. They feel HITECH will introduce additional layers of bureaucracy to an already complex process, causing unnecessary confusion and hesitation. Add to that the large clinical HIT vendors that are jumping in with a myriad of approaches. 

What will play out and when? That is the question of the day. If I’m betting on a horse I want it to be a small bet with a gigantic benefit. I’m curious to hear about such HIE successes. Let us know if you have seen such a miracle or if you have a different opinion.