Stakeholders unified in concern of HIE success

Health information exchange stakeholders are worried about the success of HIEs, but don't want the government to tell them how they should be run, according to a new survey from the National eHealth Collaborative.

Of the 219 respondents in NeHC's third annual HIE survey, which included hospital executives, HIE leaders, EHR vendors and others, 96 percent said that the most impactful barriers to HIE success were the cost and the breadth/pace of change required. Ninety five percent of them expressed concern about their financial sustainability and of privacy and security of patient data; 94 percent are worried about electronic health record vendor readiness and 93 percent complained about lack of interoperability.   

However, respondents weren't that interested in formal government directives in HIE formation and operation. Although two-thirds (67 percent) want the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to establish specific technical platforms/requirements for HIEs, and 64 percent want ONC to disseminate best practices, only about one-fifth (22 percent) wanted ONC to promulgate regulations.

Stakeholders did seem to be more unified when it came to the most impactful drivers of widespread HIE, with almost all (98 percent) identifying the ability to improve care coordination and (97 percent) seeking interoperability. Ninety-five percent cited the ability to improve quality of care and the ability to reduce healthcare costs as impactful drivers. Meeting meaningful use requirements was also important, with 91 percent of respondents listing it as one of an impactful driver of widespread HIE.  

Stakeholders were less interested in patient engagement, another major priority of the Meaningful Use program. Only 52 percent of respondents said that patient engagement was "very important"; 9 percent said that it was not important.

HIE viability has been at the forefront of recent discussions led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, particularly as they grow with the increased EHR adoption due to Meaningful Use incentive programs.

To learn more:
- read the survey