Health Information Exchange Essay

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Introduction: This paper will go into the history, need, challenges and where we are now with Health Information Exchange. What is a HIE? A health information exchange (HIE) is a safe computer network that links the electronic health information systems of different health care providers, permitting those providers to share clinical and demographic data of patients they have in common. HIE provides the ability to electronically move health care information between various systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged. In other words HIE is technology at its best brings all the personal health information together and helps health providers make more informed decisions. The goal of health information exchange…show more content…
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine releases the first of a series of reports that ignites a national focus on patient safety and quality of care. The first report, entitled To Err Is Human, suggested that as many as 98,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors; a follow-up report in 2001 talked about how Health Information Technologies, including HIE, can be used to reduce errors, and improve efficiency and effectiveness of our health care system. This new national focus on quality has implications for how the history of HIE continue to unfold... In the early 2000’s a new type of HIE organization began to “pop up.” These organizations, called Regional Health Information Organizations (or RHIOs) were local, neutral organizations bringing providers in a community together for the purposes of HIE. RHIOs are usually made up of representatives from a variety of provider organizations in a given area. And consistent with the new national focus on quality (as ignited by the Institute of Medicine reports), RHIOs were mainly focused on improving quality in their communities. In order to facilitate HIE, RHIOs needed to get everyone at the table to overcome challenges unique to their market. Some of these challenges may have been political, or competitive, perhaps financial or regulatory; in some cases legal. Note that by this point many of the technical barriers, including immature

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