HIMSS 2011: Exchange is in the Air

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , February 22, 2011

Still, the buzz in Orlando this week suggests that healthcare organizations are willing to tackle it. And HealthLeaders Media's recently released annual industry survey backs that up. Among healthcare technology leaders, 28% said they already participate in some kind of data exchange or share data with one or more competitors and another 61% said they plan to do so.

It's clear they also recognize the challenges, however, including those perennial hot topics mentioned above. Most of the IT leaders in our survey said it will take anywhere from four to 10 years to realize the ultimate goal of an interoperable healthcare system where providers, payers, patients, and public health entities can exchange health information.

But Mattison is more optimistic. As more and more organizations begin working together and accessing and using health information data, he said, there will be a "tipping point" in the next year or two, he said.  

It might take years for everyone to have unfettered access to data—there may never be one perfect system. But providers and vendors are working to overcome obstacles—from managing change to implementing standards to keeping data secure. That's good news for the 61% of organizations that are starting to investigate their exchange options.


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