The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) this week released a series of reports detailing strategies for developing and sustaining interoperable health information exchanges (HIE).
The reports, collectively titled "Following the NeHC HIE Roadmap: Four Routes to Success," were produced by workgroups comprising more than 450 stakeholders, according to an announcement from NeHC.
The workgroups identified four previously identified major issues, according to the executive summary: Variations in interoperability standards, prioritizing phased implementation of HIE services, business models for sustainability and HIE functions to support new payment and delivery models.
The collaborative said key themes of the reports include:
- Consistent interoperability standards are fundamental to achieving widespread information exchange.
- Data exchange can be jumpstarted and build momentum through use of lightweight, flexible technologies and readily available data sets.
- High-value bundles of HIE services will help drive adoption and position for sustainability.
- A successful value proposition depends on the availability of high-value bundles of HIE services, and on reaching a critical mass of connected providers and data sources.
- HIEs must understand and respond to customer needs if they want customers to pay for those products and services.
- HIE organizations that provide business intelligence and data analytics to support actionable, effective clinical decision-making can help the transition to pay-for-value.
"These reports are a great step towards finding solutions to the most trying HIE problems we are all facing every day. HIEs cannot simply act within a vacuum and none of us has it all quite figured out yet," Shaun Alfreds, chief operating officer of HealthInfoNet, said in a statement.
Vendors in the emerging HIE market have a lot to overcome, with a KLAS survey released earlier this year finding providers are dissatisfied with their vendors' ability to build and support data exchange interfaces. The market is consolidating as it matures, KLAS found.
Various initiatives around the country have been launched to help guide HIE development.
The University of Texas recently announced the opening of an HIE laboratory that could serve as a test bed for interoperability testing and research. And the University of California-Davis released a buyers' guide of interoperability and interface features for HIEs.