New study develops key criteria for HIE success

As more and more healthcare information exchanges (HIEs) begin to form, it will be incredibly valuable for facility managers to understand what factors lead to successful HIE implementation.

In an effort to provide a reliable answer to this question, advisory services and market research firm IDC Health Insights recently made available a study entitled Best Practices: Establishing Sustainable Health Information Exchange.

After interviewing 45 officials representing enterprise, regional, and statewide HIE organizations, the researchers identified several key findings that will be useful for facility managers to consider when deciding whether joining an HIE is the correct decision.

For example, one of the key findings of the study is that successful HIEs must be defined by a high degree of trust between all participating facilities.

This necessity involves a strategic planning process in which participating officials take inventory of exactly what data will need to be leveraged electronically to avoid any communication errors that could tarnish trust between facilities and diminish the utility of the exchange.

Moreover, according to a summary of the study published by InformationWeek, "For organizations that want to establish enterprise or community HIEs, the report suggests that health IT managers and stakeholders understand the clinical, business, and technical requirements needed for the HIE before identifying potential solutions."

Consequently, based on the results it would greatly benefit facilities considering involvement in a HIE to first partner with a medical technology consulting firm. By turning to these professionals, facility managers can first ensure that their own digital metrics – such as electronic medical records, electronic billing, medical practice management and eprescribing software – are in order.

Taking this measure will thus allow a facility to enter into a HIE and develop superior trust with other organizations who can rely on their healthcare IT practices to ultimately improve the quality of patient care.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.