ONC Reports Put Health Information Exchange in Focus

In January, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released a series of reports detailing the findings of expert research on various topics related to health information exchange (HIE). Five HIE Marketplace Research reports were conducted via health IT services company Audacious Inquiry. The reports are designed to support ONC’s State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program grantees as they begin to focus on functionality and sustainability of HIEs, Audacious Inquiry said in a press release.

The five reports are:

Each report provides background information on core concepts of HIE, analyses of key challenges and opportunities, and appendices that include case studies and vendor descriptions. Here’s a sampling of some of the findings and conclusions:

In Query-Based Exchange: Key Factors Influencing Success and Failure: “A key finding is that the point at which the value of clinical data exchange becomes apparent on a continuous basis is further along the maturity curve than many [health information organizations] HIOs recognize. As the data in the findings indicates, driving towards that point requires successful execution against the four key metrics and the five rights, and the faster these areas can be accomplished the quicker the HIO will meet with success.”

In Consumer Engagement in Health Information Exchange: “HIOs need to possess a good understanding of the challenges of consumer-mediated HIE in order to develop plans for investing in it. Doing so is not only mission-fulfilling but also complementary and additive to core services which help to drive financial sustainability.”

In Master Data Management within HIE Infrastructures: “If the information presented at the point of care is matched with the wrong patient, it is not only unusable, it is also dangerous for the patient. Delivering the right patient information is crucial to realizing the benefits of HIE. In the absence of a unique national identification number or some other unified way of identifying people and organizations, master data management (MDM), much science, and a bit of art, makes this important work possible…It is critical that HIO leaders possess a strong understanding of MDM and MPI as they develop long-term plans and identify services that solidify their position of value in a service area.”

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