Joel Ryba, chief operating officer at Healthcare Information Xchange New York (HIXNY), shares the journey of his organization starting out as a handful of facilities to consisting of 140 practices that use the HIE today. HIXNY serves more than two million patients, 85% of whom have data on file in the HIE. The HIE has advanced from basic patient data storage to include advanced statistics such as patient demographics and family medical histories.
Ryba also covers why data sharing in an HIE should only happen between providers and not involve vendors or the HIE itself. Part of the reason is that HIEs should remain independent and not rely on one vendor for their services. He also explains why HIXNY uses interoperability standards from Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and Health Level 7 International (HL7) cautiously. The standards are meant to run data in and out of the HIE, but real-world cases are sometimes more complicated and require a strong infrastructure to support the standards.