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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Jan 22 2012   11:26PM GMT

EHR-Lite through HIEs: The new EHR alternative?

Posted by: RedaChouffani
EHR, EHR certification, EHR-Lite, Health Information Exchanges, HIE, HIEs, Meaningful use

As providers continue to connect and use HIEs (Health Information Exchanges), several other non-EHR/HIE users are beginning to see the value that it can provide if they, too, become paperless and get connected. Because of this, some of these caregivers are turning to the new EHR alternative being offered as part of the HIE services in the form of “EHR-Lite.”

EHR-Lite is being advertised by several HIEs as the easy way to send and receive structured health information without the use of and investment into a full EHR product. While these products don’t have all the functionality and capability that a traditional EHR presents, they do, however, meet the meaningful use certification criteria and provide a cost effective alternative.

The following highlights some of the values that an HIE EHR-Lite product offers:

Cost effective:
For the most part, almost all EHR-Lite solutions that are currently being offered as part of HIE services are web based. The cost model is simply a subscription-based one. This hosted solution provides a cost effective alternative to the small to mid-size health organizations.

HIE services:
When a physician or a health organization decides to use an HIE based EHR-Lite, they are most likely going to have access to all services that are offered through the HIE, such as e-prescribing, imaging, lab orders and results, clinical decision support tools, referral management, health information access and medication history.

Collaboration platform:
Unlike traditional EHR products, the EHR-Lite that have been developed as part of the HIE offering were created with care coordination and collaboration in mind. This makes it to be a much better platform for collaboration on care and can be a significant tool to be used for ACO members.

EHR-Lite products are not necessarily a substitute for a standard EHR. They are, however, showing tangible value in terms of fulfilling basic meaningful use needs and provide interoperability without the complexity of interfaces or a major capital investment. The use of these products is on the rise as HIEs continue to mature, and as the needs for collaboration on care increases, these tools will gain popularity as they offer they offer a simple, easy to use platform for shared patient health information and data exchange.

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