A confluence of forces – the market, government mandates, technology and consumerism – are demanding that the different pieces of our healthcare system work more collaboratively than ever before. The mobility of the US population combined with the highly decentralized healthcare industry has led to an environment where the average patient sees more than 19 different physicians during their lifetime. This creates significant challenges in ensuring that healthcare professionals have access to the information required to deliver high quality and cost effective care.
The structure of our ecosystem is changing and the currency in this new health economy is instant, accurate, useful information. Health information exchanges (HIE) are being created to help facilitate this change. Recent studies have identified that HIE’s can benefit the healthcare industry in addressing both the cost and quality challenges. Examples of these benefits are:
- Emergency Departments with connectivity to an HIE have improved productivity by more than 20%
- Across all insurance types, EHR sites were associated with significantly higher achievement of care and outcome standards and greater improvement in diabetes care.
- By reducing their dependence on paper records, a practice seeing 3,000 patients annually could save $24,000.
- At the highest level of health IT adoption, only 0.001% of prescriptions would require a phone call between a pharmacist and physician