Health information exchange is the idea of having different healthcare organizations sharing their clinical data. HIEs are grouped mainly according to how they are administered and managed. There are those that are managed by nonprofit organizations while others are controlled by a governmental agency. The population of the United States is ever-increasing, implying that a standardized method of sharing clinical data is prudent within the healthcare system.
There are many advantages of using HIEs such as improving safety during treatment processes, reducing time used during diagnosis, decreasing clinical errors and making the healthcare system more competent and fruitful. In most cases of emergency where patients are unable to express themselves, diagnosis can be wrongly done, thereby leading to a incorrectly initiated treatment process. The impact is felt most among the aging population as well as those suffering from chronic illnesses such asthma, cardiovascular problems, diabetes among others. This explains the reason as to why these groups of people require a specialist who will help to share their crucial medical information with the healthcare providers at the right time in a more efficient and effective way.
Improvements in the management of HIEs has helped to do away with duplicate tests as well as minimize the number of times a patient can be readmitted to the hospital. It has been found out that healthcare providers save a significant amount of time in treating a patient whose data is in the HIE records. Subsequently, patients become more satisfied with treatment through the use of health information exchange.
Nonetheless, it is vital to realize that HIE consulting can be improved by a great extent when standardization is done. What HIE interoperability calls for is that organizations providing these services to adhere to the required standards so that the process of exchanging data can be more effective. The process would otherwise be rendered tiresome if this is not done. It is analogous to use of a particular language for communication among diverse ethnic communities. Use of a common language helps to foster integration among diverse communities that would have otherwise been unable to interact due to language barrier. It is worth to note that standardization helps to improve the process of exchanging medical information. It helps to increase the level of understanding among the many players within the healthcare system.
Currently, the department of Health and Human Services acts as the supervisory body that manages healthcare concerns for every American citizen, although there are still private practitioners who offer HIE consulting. The department is divided into ten regions that span across the entire United States of America. However, implementation and improvement of HIE services has taken longer in some states than in others due to diverse demographic factors.