Healthcare professionals are now starting to use telehealth services, electronic health records (EHRs), and handheld mobile devices in the hospital setting. For healthcare providers that are looking for new ways to improve patient outcomes. It is imperative that medical records be shared electronically through health information exchange (HIE) systems.
The demand for electronic health information exchange increases as more and more healthcare professionals realize how important an efficient healthcare system is. A recent study shows that patient data transmitted through their Health Information Exchange (HIE) depends not only on the technical aspects but also on the policies facilitating data exchange.
The growing need to effectively store and collect healthcare-related information inspires healthcare providers to exchange data when the need arises, thereby leading to the growth of our market. In addition, there is an increased focus on using healthcare technology more often, which is also a major factor driving the health information exchange market forward.
There are different reasons why health information exchange is vital in healthcare. Before we look into them, let us define what HIE is.
Health Information Exchange (HIE)
Health information exchange is the transitioning of medical data via electronic methods across various organizations within a region, a community, or a hospital system. It provides physicians and other staff members with complete access to your patient-centered care record electronically and by reviewing paper copies.
HIE helps patients have higher quality care and have more timely access to it as well. These programs help improve the quality of medical care by allowing the patient to keep track of everything that is going on with their case by looking at updates from caregivers such as lab results or radiology images or even talking to them directly if there’s something wrong.
Through HIE, providers can cater to patients’ personalized health information. For example, a list of patients who have diabetes can be created – this list is generated out of lab findings in the provider’s EHR. When those results show high blood sugar, the provider will determine what the patient needs at that moment.
Forms of Health Information Exchange
There are 3 basic forms of health information exchange: directed, query-based, and consumer-mediated exchange.
1) Directed exchange
Information is sent and received between different healthcare providers for patient support. Directed exchange transfers vital communications between multiple healthcare providers to streamline patient care with a simple interface.
2) Query-based exchange
The query-based exchange allows healthcare providers to search and request information about a patient from different healthcare providers. This service provides access to patient profiles, medications, and lab results via a secure web interface.
3) Consumer-mediated exchange
Consumer-mediated exchange enables patients to collect and maintain control of their health information.
Benefits of Health Information Exchange
Health Information Exchange (HIE) provides real-time patient health information from the care site, both structured and unstructured. Such as hospital emergency room, urgent care, home care, and ambulatory surgery center, to participating providers and payers the patient authorizes.
With HIE, patient-specific data is available at the point of care to physicians, nurses, and care, coordinators, allowing them to make more informed decisions and also reduce healthcare costs. Health care providers benefited from reduced health care costs and increased productivity. They can achieve meaningful use objectives and improve their monitoring of patient movement.
Here are a few more benefits of health information exchange:
A health information exchange system is an effective tool for reducing costs. It helps connect doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers with any relevant information to provide care. Moreover, this digital system creates a direct link between healthcare consumers and their personal health records.
Health information exchange is vital for ensuring patient safety, especially these days as people communicate digitally more than ever via phone, email and text. Medical errors are nearly impossible to avoid entirely when so much information is exchanged seamlessly between healthcare providers and patients in this electronic age.
However, health information exchange ensures that mistakes are not made due to human error when exchanging vital data through a respective database maintained by each medical facility or overall system.
The data is stored on a digital medium. This eliminates the need for physical paperwork and significantly reduces the risk of missing information.
Better health monitoring for patients
Patients among the health information exchange community can find it easier to share and receive information from the different hospitals and clinics.
It is vital to have a health information architecture to allow healthcare providers to get the most out of their data. This way, providers can track patient admissions and discharges. They can also make sure that their patients are properly kept up-to-date on their treatments while still at the hospital.
Doctors can even identify the “frequent flyers”. So that, they can inform on things like drug allergies and other treatment preferences when they come in for treatment next time.
The Challenge to Health Information Exchange
Healthcare makes up a large industry, and with any business. It is incredibly important to ensure data security at all times. Providers must adhere to state and federal regulations so that the data of their patients is safe and secure.
One challenge that providers face is the high degree of security restrictions in place. It means that they cannot easily exchange information with each other directly. This can often cause a communication failure, especially when there needs to be a large amount of data to transfer at once.
In a nutshell:
Healthcare has come a long way in the past century. But it is clear that there is still a lot of work to do; when it comes to improving the way we care for patients.
One major issue facing healthcare today is the lack of interoperability between different healthcare systems. In order to provide the best care to patients, doctors. And other healthcare professionals need to have easy access to their patients’ most up-to-date medical information. However, with the variety of different healthcare systems, it can be difficult to share information and stay updated.
That is where Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) come in. An HIE is a system that allows different healthcare providers to communicate electronically with the goal of achieving better patient care.
Health Information Exchanges (HIE) are essential to keeping our healthcare system working at its best. By sharing health information, providers and patients are able to connect and communicate in real-time. We have provided a brief overview of what makes HIEs vital to the healthcare landscape.
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