The State of Health Information Exchange

Healthcare interoperability is the “must have” for our care delivery system. The reasons why this is important are many, including:

  • Exchange of health data will raise quality of care by delivering relevant patient information to the right care provider in a timely and secure way.
  • Exchange of health data will reduce costs, eliminating duplicate tests and leveraging relevant patient data in meaningful ways.
  • Exchange of health data will become more mobile and patients will want to transfer their relevant data to their care providers in a simple, secure way.

Getting patient data into an electronic format was the first required step and Meaningful Use has been successful in driving this forward. The incentives have worked. The next step may be more challenging, but it shouldn’t be. What may be required is more innovative ways to empower health data exchanges and traditional models may need to be put aside.

HIE StatisticsKey Statistics on the Current State of Health Information Exchange

In reviewing some of the key statistics in the infographic below, here are a few interesting points:

  • 58% of hospitals exchanged data with providers outside their organization in 2012, a 41% increase since 2008.
  • Direct Project transactions increased 21x since 2012. As organizations embrace Direct, this number should continue to climb.
  • Today, the types of Health Information Organizations (HIO) participated in weigh substantially to State HIOs. This may shift to an HIO run by an IDN, which only accounts for 19% today.

Four Imperatives to Achieve Health Information Exchange

There are four imperatives to health information exchange, and we need to embrace each fully.

  1. We need to remove technical, political, and health standards barriers to data exchanges.
  2. We need vendors to work together more collaboratively.
  3. We need a community of care providers to work more collaboratively together.
  4. We need to think outside our system boxes and better equip patients and providers to exchange data in a meaningful, secure, and real-time way.

What imperative do you believe we need to embrace to realize more effective and productive health information exchanges?


 Health Data Interoperability Infographic

State of Health Interoperability

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Jon Mertz serves as the editor at and vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Jon is an advocate for strong patient engagement in their health and understands the key roles health literacy, patient data, and healthcare interoperability play in developing a better health care model. Follow Jon on Twitter.