Study finds there are challenges to implementing health information exchanges

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A new study presented at the latest Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting in Orlando reveals that there are diverse methods of data sharing available for healthcare providers, but there are still challenges.

The study found that many healthcare providers use manual processes such as faxes, encrypted email and patient devices as well as web portals to share data between ambulatory practices and hospitals. However, some participants in the study revealed that they faced several challenges with these methods due to a lack of industry standards.

However, researchers found that health information exchanges (HIE) may be a means of eliminating many of the issues that healthcare providers face when they share data. Furthermore, this system could arm hospitals and other medical centers with complete patient records and provide a single platform for positive patient identification.

According to experts, the educational resources that are needed to help guide healthcare providers through emerging care models currently exist. For instance, professionals with a health information management degree have a wealth of knowledge in implementing health information exchanges, which could be beneficial in the process of incorporating an HIE between the ambulatory system and a hospital.

“Providers should take advantage of the counsel available from their vendors, industry organizations and peers, and begin to make their voices heard in the development of these initiatives, as they will undoubtedly impact your business in the future,” said Scott Decker, president of NextGen Healthcare.