HIEs and Smart Homes - Cover

HIEs and Smart Homes

My wife and I recently purchased our dream home. It has everything we want and more. One of the new features we are most excited about is the integrated whole-home audio system. The thought that we can stream music throughout the home is pretty exciting to us. We have grand visions of hosting parties with music playing softly in the background. Additionally, my wife and I can communicate with our children from one corner of the house to the other using the intercom system. Our prior communication consisted of standing at the staircase and yelling downstairs for the kids to come up for dinner, to brush their teeth, or whatever—not very sophisticated, but it worked. With the new home, we can communicate with our children with the simple push of a button. Unfortunately, our high hopes of solving family communication issues quickly faded when the first few times we used the intercom, we got no response. The issue is that there are only four receivers scattered throughout the house, so unless our children happen to be in one of those four rooms, they can’t hear us. So again we find ourselves at the staircase wearing out our vocal chords.

This situation reminds me of the challenge faced by public health information exchanges. If providers don’t find any value the first couple of times they access an HIE, they are less likely to use the HIE moving forward. This means the HIE organization first has to recruit other organizations to share patient data with. Then the selected HIE vendor has to work with the various EMRs to build the interfaces required for data exchange. Finding the right HIE vendor that can handle building and supporting various types of interfaces can be challenging. Some vendors do a better job than others. As providers look to select a vendor to support HIE, it’s important to find out how each vendor performs so they don’t get stuck with the equivalent of an intercom system that communicates with only four rooms.

Check out the KLAS report HIE 2014: Revisiting Great Expectations to find out which HIE vendors are delivering the most value for their customers and why.