While many health information exchanges (HIEs) have attempted to become sustainable, financially viable entities, only some have succeeded, according to a new report from IDC Health Insights. The report covers best practices for establishing enterprise or community HIEs based on insight from successful early adopters.
The report was based on interviews with nearly 50 executives from enterprise, regional and statewide HIE organizations. Researchers arranged the best practices described in the report by the major components for running an HIE, including stakeholder engagement; communications; data governance; HIE solution selection; project management and implementation; EHR deployment, clinical utilization; privacy and security; and funding and sustainability.
As a first step, the researchers emphasize that healthcare organizations should focus on understanding the clinical, business and technical requirements of the HIE before identifying potential solutions and conducting a vendor search.
Additional key findings include:
- As healthcare organizations evolve toward accountable care, they will need to deploy HIE capabilities to facilitate patient-centric care collaboration.
- Interoperability is a transformation project. Health information organizations (HIOs) need to work closely with stakeholders and communicate well to obtain their trust, which will be essential for a successful outcome.
- Health information exchange organizations should anticipate that resolving privacy and security issues take longer than resolving technology issues. As such, organizations should not delay the planning and implementation process if they want to maximize meaningful EHR-use incentives.
"Too many HIOs have relied on the 'build and they will come' strategy," said Lynne A. Dunbrack, program director, IDC Health Insights. "Instead, HIOs must plan for sustainability from the very beginning. If the [health information exchange organization] will not be sustainable after the initial funding, then careful consideration should be given to whether to launch the [HIE] in the first place."
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