Panel: HIE success contingent on recognition of data value

Coming to grips with electronic health record incompatibility and determining which patient data represents the most value to providers are among several best practices a recently convened panel of health IT experts said could improve health information exchange efforts. HIE viability has been at the forefront of recent discussions led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, particularly as such entities become more prominent with the increased EHR adoption due to the Meaningful Use incentive programs.

The panel--which consisted of Chris Hobson, Chief Medical Officer at Orion Health; Arien Malec, vice president of strategy and product marketing at Relay Health; David Horrocks, president of the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), a Maryland-based HIE; and Eric Thieme, vice president of the Indiana Health Information Exchange--spoke at last week's eHealth Initiative Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., InformationWeek Healthcare reports.

Thieme talked about IHIE's efforts to pull data out of disparate EHRs, saying that he and his colleagues "spend a lot of time whipping interfaces into shape" for the consumption of data.

"To map [healthcare data from different EHRs] into common language takes effort," Thieme said, according to InformationWeek.

Horrocks talked about CRISP's efforts for sorting through and picking out useful and valuable data, saying that conversations with peers helped to keep those efforts on the right track. Such conversations, Horrocks said, helped he and his colleagues to focus their efforts on gleaning information from admit, discharge and transfer [ADT] data from participating hospitals.

It "proved to be the easiest to pull off and delivered more value to participants," he said.

Interestingly, IHIE vice president of professional services Keith Kelly talked with FierceHealthIT about a similar approach to data use for the FierceHealthIT eBook "Key Lessons in Health Information Exchange."

For instance, he said, in 2006 the exchange began building a program to analyze clinical data within the data repository; today, IHIE's Quality Health First service turns out reports, alerts and reminders to physician practices on their patient populations, one of several ways in which it maintains sustainability.

"There must be a laser focus on the value proposition and sustainability of each service that HIEs are providing," Kelly said.

To learn more:
- read the InformationWeek Healthcare article