Health information comes with huge benefits and potential challenges. Healthcare providers have been on track to embrace technological advancement to improve their operations so that the patients’ needs and requirements are fulfilled in the best way.
Information technology has brought changes in the healthcare industry. In recent years, the needs of the HIE (health information exchange) have been increasing exponentially. Although the HIE can streamline patient information access and sharing, one must also consider the different policies that facilitate the data exchange. Most countries are looking forward to the introduction of the relevant policies for Health information exchange through their HIE solutions.
Before discussing the perks of the Health Information Exchange, it is important to take a look at the basics of the topic first.
Defining the Health Information Exchange
Health information exchange is the solution that allows caregivers, doctors, and providers to access and share the crucial health information of a patient electronically for their benefit.
Various institutions are using HIE solutions and software to attain quality HIE using standardized practices. CareAlign, for instance, is ready to help both private and public companies run the HIE.
Some states also have multiple health information exchanges.
Health Information Exchange benefits
Health information exchange is one of the most important components of the healthcare system. HIE can improve the interoperability of healthcare activities. Here are the important benefits of the health information exchange.
Minimize errors and disputes.
The HIE can ensure the safety of patients by reducing the risks of errors and misunderstandings. The data is safely stored in the database. Therefore, the accuracy of the data is absolute because there is no unauthorized access from the outside. It is the contrast of the physical documents. As the patients print out their medical information, other people could accidentally look at it. Poor storage could also expose the personal information to the public.
By saving money and time, you can save money and time.
HIE (health information exchange) can provide efficiency. The health information exchange stores the data in a digital format, which can remove the need for paperwork or handling. It also reduces the risk of missing important information, which can affect the outcomes of the patient’s care.
Since the data is already in the database, there is no need for the patients to fill in the form again to tell the hospitals about their condition. Effective HIE systems can effectively reduce health-related costs since they provide the information in digital form. There is no need to print out the data. The patients won’t need to stand in the long queue in front of the administration desk waiting for their turn to fill in the form.
All in all, it will streamline the processes of admission, transfer, and handoff.
Better quality of treatment and care
HIE ensures that doctors and healthcare providers attain the necessary information, which can lead to better healthcare services. Healthcare providers are expecting to attain accurate information so that they can make informed decisions for the betterment of their patients. Here is where the HIE role is very important. It will make sure that the health data is accessible and shared across the involved healthcare providers.
Improvement in health reporting and monitoring
For the sake of the patients, the data exchange process shouldn’t be difficult. There is a need for health reporting and monitoring to provide the best services for the clients. An effective HIE solution can make the data exchange process much easier and simpler. In turn, it will improve health reporting and monitoring in the healthcare systems.
More potential findings and opportunities
With the accessibility to the important information of patients, it can open up opportunities in the healthcare industry. The HIE system enables authorized entities to access health data in real time and assists governments and communities in planning programs and projects aimed at improving people’s well-being in their respective countries.
Common challenges to health information exchange
The process of data exchange should be done alongside the guarantees of privacy and security. It is important to conduct the right practices for the patients’ importance.
Organizations need to follow the regulations and particular set of specifications to provide the data. Although health information exchange comes with an abundance of benefits, it is also important to consider its takeaways for good. Here are some common challenges which you’d like to consider before proceeding.
The lack of a set of standards
It is one of the most common issues that concerns many healthcare providers. The digital health information exchange indeed provides a seamless solution for the data exchange between one health provider and another, but there is a concern about the set of specifications. As we know, each healthcare provider has their own procedures and set of standards. These different systems might lead to privacy issues. The activities of information exchange must be compliant with the agreed standard to utilize the EHR correctly. After all, all patients have the equal right to protect their privacy and personal information.
As mentioned, HIE can happen on a local, national, and international scale. It can be simpler and more straightforward to comprehend the practices in your own location. But the challenge will be more complex when doing the exchange in the other states. Each state has its own laws and regulations. Not all providers are able to withstand the laws of each state. Crash cultures may occur and impede healthcare services for the respective patients.
It is difficult to review patients’ health information.
Exchanging health information with other healthcare providers has been difficult enough due to the fact that the information may come from different EHR systems.Therefore, it is already difficult to match the patients to their health records. It will be more complicated if the patients have already crossed the border countries. The overseas treatment can be more complex and difficult to do.
There’s also the possibility of misunderstanding because of the same name, date of birth, and other similar data. One of the homework assignments to do with the HIE is to find out the best way to identify the patient.