HIEs as a vehicle for Meaningful Use
Stage 2 of MU will focus on increased use of decision support. HIEs will facilitate integrated health records of patients across providers which is a key requirement for effective clinical decision support. HIEs will also play a key role in enabling better care coordination, which is a critical success factor for better clinical outcomes, a key focus area for stage 3 of MU.
The success of HIE would depend on the functionalities it offers and the extent of its adoption among the provider communities. A collaborative approach is required with participation from all stakeholders to build a successful HIE. A HIE is expected to facilitate exchange of Clinical information among the care providers, routing of referrals/authorizations and Lab orders/results and prescriptions, exchange of CCD between EHRs, secure communication between 2 providers and sharing problem lists/active medication and chart notes over the health information network. It can also host EHR systems within the network for use by providers on a pay-as-you-use model. Once the majority of the providers have been on boarded, it will act as an important source of information for disease registry and public health reporting. Secured data exchange, identity management, non-repudiation, consent management, Record locator/Master patient index and provider directory are the key foundational components for delivering the above functions. Additionally, the exchange should be able to support interoperability and multiple vocabularies through effective vocabulary translation.
We are seeing increased activities in the HIE space, particularly in last one year, with the financial support from government providing the much needed impetus. We can expect even more buzz around HIEs as more community health information exchanges, RHIOs and states coming together to establish this useful foundation for meaningful use.