5 Reasons You Need an HIE Now

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , June 11, 2013

Seek out innovative technology, but always be prepared to connect it to those systems that must communicate with each other. It is not easy. We have expectations that want these systems to be as simple to interoperate with each other as earlier technology paradigms: telephones, email, faxes. But with every wave of new technology, there is added complexity, so it becomes that much harder to make the interoperability of the newest technology as simple as earlier systems. We speak of "information dial tone"—if only it were that simple. But done right—think iPhone and iPad—it's a magical thing.

5. Portability: Patients and physicians will continue to have choices of where to go. The whole reason accountable care got as far as it did is that it preserves that choice. The challenge is to build the technology that makes that freedom work at a practical level – patients receive the care they desire, and physicians practice where and when they desire for job satisfaction. If your healthcare system makes it difficult for the information associated with patients or doctors to travel with them, you will become a less desirable destination.

To explore the very practical next steps you can take in healthcare information exchange, I'll be hosting a Webcast Monday, June 17. My guests will be HIE pioneers Linda A. Reed, RN, and David L. Miller. Reed is vice president of behavioral and integrative medicine and CIO of Atlantic Health System. She is also president of Jersey Health Connect, one of New Jersey's grant-funded health information exchange organizations. Miller is vice chancellor for information technology and CIO for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

I hope you can join us as we explore what's working, what isn't, and how you can make health information exchange a reality now. There's no time to waste.

WEBCAST: Integrate HIEs into Physician and Staff Workflows for Better Outcomes. June 17, 1:00-2:30pm ET.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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