America’s health information exchanges (HIEs) provide critical infrastructure to support interoperability serving 92% of Americans, delivering more than one billion clinical alerts annually, according to a recent Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative survey.
These are real-time notifications of hospital admissions, discharges or transfers (ADTs) delivered to doctors, hospitals and other organizations tasked with coordinating the care and services of high-needs patients. These alerts trigger follow-up and care coordination that reduces hospital readmissions and improves outcomes.
Real-Time Patient Alerts Nationwide
The survey shows not only the growth of HIEs nationally but also the value that is being delivered. In 2016, SHIEC member HIEs came together to connect the nation through the Patient-Centered Data Home® Model, enabling near-real-time alerting about important clinical events across the nation. The survey shows that the PCDH model continues to grow, with participation increasing by 230 percent and the number of alerts delivered increasing by more than 300 percent over the last year. More than 200 million patients are served by HIEs connected to the nationwide PCDH network.
Role of HIEs in Connecting Communities
Survey results show the critical role that HIEs play in connecting communities, from ensuring that patient records are available from all of the top electronic health record (EHR) systems to community connections with pharmacies, labs, behavioral health, and state and federal agencies. As value-based healthcare brings more focus to patients’ social needs, HIEs are providing critical infrastructure in connections to organizations such as blood banks, social service agencies, dialysis centers, first responders, state and county correctional health, school nurses and drug & alcohol treatment centers.
Why It Matters
Dan Porreca, executive director of HEALTHeLINK and chair of the SHIEC Board believes that HIEs now connect critical infrastructure in communities across the country. “Across the country, HIEs are working with a broad range of organizations that form the fabric of community social service networks,” Porreca said, “and HIEs are sharing information to improve health care and health status.”