While it might not have a direct effect on your strategy, getting consumer support for your health data exchange plans can't hurt. So you'll be happy to hear that according to a new study, consumers like the idea of secure health data sharing, particularly when they're educated about the details of how it works and why it's beneficial. The study, released by the eHealth Initiative Foundation, concluded that 70 percent of consumers favored the HIE concept. It also found that consumers need education on the notion of secure data exchange--but when consumers are taught how the security works, that patients control their data, and why the exchanges are important, they're very much on board. Researchers also found that patients trust doctors most to share accurate HIE information.
Building on the study's findings, the eHealth Initiative has partnered with HHS to develop its Connecting Communities Toolkit, a consumer-friendly barrage of brochures, radio announcements, artwork and more. The Toolkit materials are designed to educate consumers about the need for and benefits of HIE. This is good news for the growing list of HIE projects across the U.S., which include 165 efforts in 49 of 50 states.