3 ways to avoid HIE missteps

Organizations juggling having a fee-for-services business model while implementing value-based programs may face obstacles when it comes to interoperability and health information exchanges, Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs at Medicity, writes in a post for GovernmentHealthIT.

In order to enter that value-based care arena, the industry must avoid common missteps that may impede the sustainability of HIEs, Ahier says.

Three ways to identify and avoid those missteps, according to Ahier, include:

  1. Examination: Look at the industry standards and best practices in the industry, Ahier says. This includes closely examining tools and guidelines on HIEs provided by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT--which include five domains essential to health information exchange. Overlooking these domains can lead to "lack of long-term value, increased costs and low provider adoption," Ahier says.
  2. Governance: It's important for an organization to treat data correctly. To avoid a lack of planning with data ownership and control, Ahier says, clear data provenance should be set in place.  
  3. Real-world experience: Much of the knowledge gained about HIEs is through trial and error, Ahier says. To that end, it is important to have people in place who are competent and able to lead and implement the platforms; understand the needs of all support staff; and use a multistage implementation process instead of trying to perfect every facet at once.

A survey in the fall of 2013 revealed that interoperability issues continue to stifle HIE organizations' ability to connect, and sustainability remains a struggle, FierceHealthIT reported.

However, HIEs are growing in use across the country. In Michigan, a merger created a HIE that will serve more than 5 million patients, and New York's state wide exchange is nearing completion.

To learn more:
- read Ahier's post