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. With an ever increasing population in the United States, there is need to have a standardized channel of sharing information within the healthcare system.
By employing HIEs, it is possible to increase safety in treatment procedures, minimize time for diagnosis, reduce medication errors as well make the healthcare system more efficient and productive. 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 effect is felt most among the elderly people or those ailing from chronic diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular complications, diabetes among others. This shows how important it is to have experts who can share medical information to healthcare providers on behalf the chronically ill and elderly people, in a more timely and well-organized manner.
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. Consequently, there is enhanced patient satisfaction too.
Nonetheless, it is vital to realize that HIE consulting can be improved by a great extent when standardization is done. Institutions that provide HIE services are expected to adhere to the laid out standards so as to streamline the process of information exchange. When standardization is not done, the process would become very tiresome. A good example of standardization in HIE consulting is the use of a specific language for communication among people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Usage of a common language is an important tool that enhances integration among people from different ethnic communities. The only major aim of standardization is to help enhance the process of exchanging medical records. 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.