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Co-creating Value in Healthcare with Interoperability

Aug 18 2010   10:01AM GMT

Future Health Information Exchange (HIE)



Posted by: Nirpath
HIE, Interoperability and health information exchange

Technologies such as file folders, paper-and-pencil entries, tape recordings, and x-ray films are both physically limited and very restrictive in terms of keeping secure, accessible, portable and available records about the patients, but they are still practiced by care providers, who may be practicing in different hospitals and clinics associated with an HMO.

These traditional recording methods are limited because the captured data and information can only be kept largely in a “Physical” form and not easily accessible, transportable or available “virtually” or “digitally” to other expert clinicians, who may decide to travel to another country seeking a second opinion. New forms and modes of HIE technology such as wearable devices and embedded chips promise to give you the ability to access such recorded information that has been accumulated over the years both conveniently and surely at anytime, anywhere.

In the foreseeable future, you will also be able to control and access your own personal health records stored online and contributed by all of your care providers. As amazing as new technologies can be, it is important to first understand the basic function of HIE technologies that currently exist and how these technologies will likely evolve due to increased globalization, continuous healthcare reforms, the corporatization of medicine, and other major trends.

The emerging trends such as – the emergence of satellite based, wireless, user-friendly portables; the proliferation of cellular networks; implementation of various powerful network-based systems e.g. sensor networks and internet-based data warehouses are now pressurizing senior healthcare executives and managers to become seriously interested in understanding and endorsing cost-beneficial and interoperable HIE solutions.

The future HIE should have at least 5 major components:
1. Expandable and vendor/technology independent Data/Information/Knowledge component
2. Flexible Hardware/software/network component
3. Adaptive Process/task/system component
4. Integration/interoperability component for advanced (micro) devices.
5. Configurable User/Administrative/management component

It will be challenging for a CIO / CMO not just to create an HIE but a vision about lots of external factors, which may drive for next generation HIE very soon not by government regulations, but by market forces.

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