Survey: HIEs maturing, sharing more data

Health information exchanges are making progress in their quests to share electronic data among providers, with more data being exchanged and more HIEs becoming operational, according to the latest survey released by the eHealth Initiative.

Of the 161 HIE respondents, 90, are in the advanced stages of operational maturity, up 15 from 2011, reported Jason Goldwater, Vice President of Research and Programs for the eHealth Initiative, speaking on a webinar explaining the results of the survey.

Many HIEs still were piloting their programs and 54 respondents were new HIEs. Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • Data exchange has played a key role in health reform efforts, with 109 HIEs already supporting an accountable care organization or medical home, and another 63 planning to do so;
  • Many officials expected their HIEs to be financially sustainable after federal funds providing support end;
  • Respondents were concerned about competition from other HIEs and from HIE vendors.

Goldwater called data exchange critical to the success of heathcare reform, and added that revenue diversification is key to the success of HIEs. He also said that people need to understand how data analytics can be leveraged to expand the use of data in HIEs   

Carol Parker, Executive Director of Great Lakes HIE in Michigan, said on the webinar that she was excited to see people recognizing "the value of data in HIE beyond the clinical care of individuals."

A few HIEs have struggled and hit some road bumps. For example, Kansas' HIE voted recently to dissolve and turn its operations over to the state, a move that received significant publicity.

Paul Steinichen, vice president of solutions engineer for Forth Worth-based Sandlot Solutions, said such examples have overshadowed the successes that many other HIEs have enjoyed.

"It always surprises how many HIEs are so far along and successful," Steinichen said. "They are turning and adjusting in the marketplace."

To learn more:
- check out the survey results (.pdf)