Study: HIE Tool Could Reduce Duplicative Tests, Medical Procedures

April 23, 2014 in News

The use of a health information exchange tool in emergency departments could help reduce the number of duplicative tests and procedures and identify drug-seeking behavior in patients, according to a study published in Applied Clinical Informatics, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation Technology, 4/22).

Study Details

The HIE tool, called Care Everywhere, was integrated into Minnesota-based Allina Health’s electronic health record system and used by four Allina-affiliated emergency departments to share information among the hospitals and clinics where patients received care.

The participating hospitals were:

Study Findings

The study found that the HIE tool was used in about 1.46% of ED encounters.

The study showed that the HIE tool had the greatest effect on preventing unnecessary diagnostic procedures. Specifically, the tool helped to avoid 560 such procedures, including blood work and imaging (Clinical Innovation Technology, 4/22).

In addition, it helped providers identify 28 patients who were seeking prescription drugs.

In a survey, physicians who used the HIE tool reported other valuable information available from the tool, such as:

  • Discharge summaries;
  • ECG interpretations; and
  • Medication lists.

According to FierceEMR, nurses and ancillary providers also found the tool helpful but were less “enthusiastic” about the tool than physicians (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/22).

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