Health information exchanges in a state of transition

Health information exchanges are in a state of flux, but are moving slowly toward better care coordination and interoperability, according to a new report published by Chilmark Research.

The report, entitled 2013 HIE Market Trends Report, noted a number of developments in the HIE market. For instance, HIE is doing well in some areas, such as portal access, orders and results, and clinician messaging. However, the industry ranked as "poor" in the areas of notifications and alerts, queries across networks and clinician alignment.

"No vendor is remotely close to being able to assemble an HIE 2.0 solution right now," analyst Brian Murphy wrote in a blog post touting the report. "But many vendors are pushing hard and we expect the best to begin rolling out HIE 2.0 products by the middle of 2014."

The report also found that:

  • New payment models are placing an emphasis on care coordination, but that uncertain reimbursement makes this an unsettled area
  • Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program will spur interoperability efforts, but that barriers to data sharing--such as privacy concerns and matching patients to their records--remain.

Among other significant findings, the analysts concluded that:

  • The vendor market continues to consolidate, with several vendors, such as ACS, Verizon and Caradigm exiting the market, and more expected to do so
  • Overall growth is in the high single digits, with a slowdown in market growth but go-lives accelerating
  • HIEs are focusing on improving performance, usability and deployment, not on innovation

HIE is a major component of Stages 2 and 3 of the Meaningful Use program. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is working on recommendations to support HIE efforts.

To learn more:
- read the Chilmark blog post
- purchase the report

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