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8/4/2010
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Health Information Exchanges Improve Efficiency

Complying with government mandates, developing viable business model are top concerns of HIEs, finds eHealth Initiative.




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The number of health information exchange initiatives that are transmitting patient data to doctors and other stakeholders has risen from 57 in 2009 to 73 in 2010, a 28% increase, a new eHealth Initiative survey reveals.

"The State of Health Information Exchange in 2010: Connecting the Nation to Achieve Meaningful Use," was published late last month and is eHealth Initiative's latest report on the status of HIEs. Of the 234 active HIE initiatives across the country, 199 organizations responded to the annual survey. The report also noted that the number of HIEs has grown due to the establishment of 56 state designated entities (SDEs); 48 SDEs completed the survey.

The report said more organizations are reporting a reduction in staff time and redundant testing through the use of HIEs. Thirty-three respondents said that using HIEs helped them decrease staff time spent on clerical administration and filing, 30 participants said it helped them trim staff time spent on handling lab and radiology results, and 28 said they spent less money on redundant tests.

The survey also found that HIEs have increased functionality with respect to the meaningful use rules. Sixty-seven respondents said they have connectivity to electronic health records, which is a 76% increase from a year ago. Fifty participants said they can link to results delivery and 49 said they can connect to health summaries for continuity of care.

When asked about the top five types of data exchanged by the initiatives, 68 said they share laboratory results, 63 said medication data, 62 said outpatient laboratory results, 61 said allergy information, and 58 said data related to emergency department episodes or discharge summaries.

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