The Florida Health Information Exchange, which has plans to connect 17 hospital groups and practices throughout the Sunshine State, is causing a rift between the large hospitals leading the effort and individual physicians who say that their opinions are being ignored, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Physicians, including Tampa-based vascular interventional radiologist Chris Pittman, worry that providers at smaller practices are losing control of records that they've always maintained to larger organizations and will suffer added layers of bureaucracy. He refers to the HIE effort as creating "a virtual room of records," and adds that the financial and time constraints that come with electronic health record implementation are burdensome.
However, Peter Hobson, the acting executive director of the Tampa Bay Regional Health Information Exchange--one of the participating organizations--tells the Tribune that the effort isn't about making money.
"We're doing it to improve healthcare," Hobson says. "Just because patients aren't standing in the front, it should not be construed that they aren't there."
Massachusetts' newly launched statewide HIE attempts to nip financial shortfalls in the bud by using a combination of federal and state dollars and scaled fees for different sized provider organizations to lower the cost of involvement for smaller providers. It also allows provider organizations to maintain control of their own information. Both points are discussed in detail by Micky Tripathi, CEO for Waltham, Mass.-based Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative's Quality Data Center, in FierceHealthIT's new eBook, "Key Lessons in Health Information Exchange."