HIE—The Challenges and Promise

Health Information Exchange (HIE) provides the opportunity for Public Health professionals to access a wider range of data—from Syndromic Surveillance to notifiable conditions, immunization, and health registries.

HMS has long believed in the benefit of HIEs. However, HIE’s promise remains limited because successful health exchanges have not been present throughout the country. In 2006, when HMS completed a study of existing functional health information exchanges, we found that only two nationally were viable and functional. Today, there are more HIEs out there, but our nation is far from being connected.

Because HIEs could provide highly informative views into the state of the public’s health—on a local or national view—it’s easy to question why they haven’t been more successful.

We believe it comes down to one thing—financial viability—both cost and future revenue.  Who pays for the HIE?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided funding for HIE creation. Along with the standards supported through ONC, two substantial barriers have been lowered. Still, it’s unknown whether this will result in a long-term, financially viable health information exchanges.

We’ve begun a discussion on HIE on our blog, and hope that you’ll stop by to provide your thoughts on the topic. We’ll continue to add to the discussion as well.

For more information on the topic of HIE, we also recommend Patty Enrado’s recent article on NHINWatch.com, “Healthcare Reform, Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria open up opportunities for HIEs.”

About Health Monitoring Systems, Inc.

HMS (http://www.hmsinc.com) is a privately held company specializing in healthcare data analysis. The company processes and analyzes health‐related data in real time via a Software‐as‐a‐Service (SaaS) approach. Using this approach, HMS enables clients to increase their understanding of regional health conditions, improve quality and efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance.

The company’s EpiCenter™ system is a first of its kind community health surveillance system for public health. HMS collects and analyzes data from more than 500 healthcare facilities across the country.

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