Health Care Industry Advances in Some HIE Focus Areas, Report Finds

March 16, 2015 in News

While the health care industry made progress in certain health information exchange focus areas in 2014, others — such as data harmonization and exchange — continue to lag, according to a report released last week by the Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation, EHR Intelligence reports (Gruessner, EHR Intelligence, 3/12).

Report Details

For the report, the institute monitored stakeholders’ efforts to improve health data exchange throughout 2014 and evaluated how the efforts aligned with recommendations made in a 2013 Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange report.

Specifically, the 2013 report listed four key focus areas:

  • Data harmonization and exchange;
  • Innovative encounter models;
  • Patient engagement; and
  • Payment models.

Report Findings

Overall, the new report found that the health care industry has made progress toward the system envisioned by WEDI, particularly “in the adoption and use of new technologies, the implementation of innovative models of care and reimbursement, and harmonization of data standards for information exchange.”

Specifically, the report found that two focus areas are “on track to meet recommendations” in the 2013 report:

  • Patient engagement; and
  • Innovative encounter models.

Meanwhile, the report found that stakeholders have made limited progress on:

  • Data harmonization and exchange; and
  • Payment models (LSIHI report, March 2015).

Recommendations

The report, among other things, recommended that stakeholders take further steps to:

  • Continue developing systems to capture patient data, including using mobile devices to improve health information access and exchange;
  • Include patient identifiers to help standardize patient identification among various health records distributed to multiple medical facilities; and
  • Increase health IT literacy and education programs to help improvement patients’ use of electronic health records, patient portals and other health IT tools (EHR Intelligence, 3/12).
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