Based on results from eHI’s 2019 Survey on HIE Technology Priorities, this report examines HIE perspectives on:
- Adoption of new technology
- Integrating clinical and claims data
- Types of data being exchanged
- Business drivers and priorities
- Challenges associated with the aforementioned
For almost two decades, eHealth Initiative and Foundation (eHI) has monitored the state of health information exchanges. Healthcare is experiencing rapid evolution with the emergence of new technologies and payment models. In response, both the public and private sectors are seeking ways to improve the quality and safety of care, resulting in a growing momentum to improve interoperability. Organizations like health information exchanges (HIEs) and health information networks (HINs) act as a source of valuable information and services, making the continued evaluation of their challenges, opportunities, and priorities important.
Background on Health Information Exchanges
As the name implies, HIEs provide technology and services to help their stakeholders exchange electronic health information. HIEs do not provide healthcare services. Instead, they impact the quality and cost of care, and ultimately outcomes, by sharing patient health data across organizations within a region, community, or hospital system.
Numerous trends that will drive the adoption of new technologies, the ability to exchange various data types, and the direction of HIE priorities are already evident in 2019. The healthcare industry is in the process of adopting performance-based funding models in place of more traditional reimbursement-based models. Industry is also facing an influx of value-based care initiatives; growing support for application programming interface (API) based interoperability standards, such as HL7®’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®); complex laws for sharing non-traditional types of data; and the push for nationwide exchange of electronic health information across disparate HINs. As new payment models emerge, healthcare stakeholders are increasingly seeking out new types of data that will give a wider perspective of a patient’s health and social experiences.
An HIE’s ability to integrate data enables and supports value-based care. Stakeholders can monitor their quality and cost of care, leading to improvements in care quality and care coordination, and eventually, cost savings. However, not all HIEs have the ability to integrate the many types of data necessary to enable and support value-based care and cost-lowering activities. HIE capabilities may be limited for a variety of reasons, including technical functions, costs, competing priorities, and issues around ownership and control of the data by stakeholder organizations participating in the HIE.
Date: May 29, 2019