Health Information Exchange Definition

Health Information Exchange Definition

H.I.E Definition- Health Information Exchange Explained

Health information exchange (HIE) has been a topic of much discussion recently as it has gone a long way towards increasing the overall quality of the healthcare that people are able to receive. The most basic health information exchange definition is the electronic sharing and distribution of healthcare and patient information throughout a hospital, or even an entire region or country in some cases. While this health information exchange definition sounds quite simple, in reality the actual process can be extremely complicated. For starters, everyone who needs access to the information must be sufficiently trained in how to input and also utilize the patient or healthcare information. In order for this process to work properly, it is absolutely imperative that all of the data is entered into the system properly because without paper records, it could be lost forever. Nonetheless, when a health information exchange system is well planned out and executed, there are a huge multitude of benefits. Most HIE programs are developed and run by companies known as health information organizations, and it is these companies who are responsible for ensuring that the system works properly, while maintaining the highest levels of security and confidentially and still remaining easily accessible to various parties at the same time.

Health Information Exchange Definition- How it works

HIE functions by collecting healthcare and patient data in one location that can be accessed from anywhere that is connected to the particular exchange system. The health information organizations centralize the data in one place to reduce the costs associated with transferring medical records and to ensure continuity between different healthcare providers. This allows the patients information to be quickly passed on from one doctor to the next, guaranteeing that each doctor has the most accurate and up to date patient health information available.

Benefits of Health Information Exchange

Once you understand the health information exchange definition and how this type of system functions, then it is not hard to see that there could be innumerable benefits if all healthcare providers used this type of interconnected system. One of the biggest benefits associated with HIE is that it allows doctors to provide and patients to receive a much higher overall level of healthcare due to that fact that the doctor can easily access all of the patients records in a matter of seconds, no matter how many different healthcare providers the patient has seen over the years. The ease with which the healthcare provider can retrieve the patients data enables the patient to be diagnosed and treated in a much more timely fashion as well, further increasing the overall quality of the healthcare experience. Another added benefit of an HIE system is the reduction of the costs traditionally associated with the transferring of a patients medical records from one healthcare provider to another. Traditionally, medical records had to be faxed from one doctor to another, but with HIE there is no longer any need for the paper trail and the costs associated with the materials and equipment necessary for printing, scanning, and faxing medical records. The reduced costs are also felt in terms of the man hours it takes for the office personnel to discuss the records over the phone, find them, and then either mail or fax them. While this reduction of costs can have a hugely positive impact for the healthcare provider, it also can have the same benefits for the patient as well, as some of these savings are bound to be passed down the line to the patient as well. This will enable healthcare providers to ensure that they are able to provide the highest quality healthcare at a lower, more affordable price, and will hopefully go a long way towards stemming the ever increasing rise in healthcare costs.

Health Information Exchange Definition- conclusion

Patient privacy and confidentiality are always one of the primary concerns of any healthcare provider, and HIE allows for increased security when it comes to a patients medical records. There are always risks when it comes to transferring medical records, especially if the records are sent through the mail. However, with this type of exchange system, a patient can be guaranteed that their records will only be seen by the necessary parties with the correct security codes to access them. While this system requires a very high level of electronic security, most people still feel that it is more secure to have the records stored electronically rather in have paper records stored somewhere where they could be lost, stolen, or damaged. This electronic system also ensures that there are always backups of the records, whereas paper records could be destroyed in case of a fire or a natural disaster, and there is always the chance that they could be misplaced due to human error as well. Overall, this type of system is surely the way of the future for all healthcare providers, and eventually could lead to a global network which would only serve to further increase the quality of the healthcare given.