Restructuring the Tower system of Babel : A CEO’s Perspective on Health Information Deals

Defining a Health Information Exchange

The united states is facing the largest deficiency of healthcare practitioners in our country’s history which is compounded by an ever increasing geriatric population. In 2005 there existed one geriatrician for every 5, 000 US residents over 65 and only nine of the 145 medical schools trained geriatricians. By 2020 a is estimated to be short 200, 000 health professionals and over a million nurses. Never, in the history of us healthcare, has so much been demanded with so few personnel. Because of this deficiency combined with the Sildenax F√≥rmula geriatric population increase, the medical community has to find a way to provide timely, accurate information to those who need it in a uniform fashion. Imagine if flight controllers speech the native language of their country as opposed to the current international flight language, English. This example captures the desperation and critical nature individuals need for standardized communication in healthcare. A healthy information exchange can help improve safety, reduce amount of hospital stays, minimize medication errors, reduce redundancies in lab testing or procedures and make the health system faster, leaner and more productive. The aging US population along with those impacted by chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma will need to see more specialists who will have to find a method to communicate with primary care providers effectively and efficiently.

This efficiency can only be attained by standardizing the manner in which the communication develops. Healthbridge, a Cincinnati based HIE and one of the largest community based networks, surely could reduce their potential disease outbreaks from 5 to 8 days down to 72 hours with a regional health information exchange. Regarding standardization, one author noted, “Interoperability without standards is like language without syntax. In both cases communication can be achieved but the process is cumbersome and often ineffective. inches

United states retailers transitioned over 20 years ago in order to automate inventory, sales, accounting controls which all improve efficiency and effectiveness. While uncomfortable to think about patients as inventory, perhaps it has been area of the reason for the lack of move in the primary care setting to automation of patient records and data. Imagine a Mom & Pop hardware store on any pillow in mid America packed with inventory on shelves, ordering duplicate widgets based on lack of information regarding current inventory. Picture any Home Depot or Lowes and you get a overall look of how automation has changed the retail sector in terms of scalability and efficiency. Possibly the “art of medicine” is a barrier to more productive, efficient and smart medicine. Standards in information exchange have existed since 1989, but recent interfaces have evolved faster thanks to increases in standardization of regional and state health information deals.

History of Health Information Deals

Major urban centers in Europe and Australia were the first to successfully implement HIE’s. The success of these early networks was connected to an integration with primary care EHR systems already in place. Health Level 7 (HL7) represents the first health language standardization system in the united states, beginning with a meeting at the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. HL7 has been successful in replacing antiquated communications like faxing, mail and direct provider communication, which often represent duplication and inefficiency. Process interoperability increases human understanding across networks health systems to integrate and communicate. Standardization will ultimately impact how effective that communication functions in the same manner that syntax standards foster better communication. The united states National Health Information Network (NHIN) sets the standards that foster this delivery of communication between health networks. HL7 is now on it’s third version which was published in 2004. The goals of HL7 are to increase interoperability, develop coherent standards, educate a on standardization and collaborate with other sanctioning bodies like ANSI and ISO who are also concerned with process improvement.

In the united states one of the earliest HIE’s started in Portland Maine. HealthInfoNet is a public-private partnership and is considered to be the largest statewide HIE. The goals of the network are to improve patient safety, enhance products you can clinical care, increase efficiency, reduce service duplication, identify public hazards more quickly and expand patient record access. The four founding groups the Maine Health Access Foundation, Maine CDC, The Maine Quality Forum and Maine Health Information Center (Onpoint Health Data) began their efforts in 2004.

In Tennessee Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO’s) initiated in Memphis and the Three Cities region. Carespark, a 501(3)c, in the Three Cities region was considered a direct project where doctors interact directly with each other using Carespark’s HL7 compliant system as an intermediary to translate the data bi-directionally. Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics also played an essential role in the early stages to create this network. In the delta the midsouth eHealth Alliance is a RHIO connecting Memphis nursing homes like Baptist Funeral obituary (5 sites), Methodist Systems, Lebonheur Healthcare, Memphis Children’s Clinic, St. Francis Health System, St Jude, The Regional The hospital and UT Medical. These regional networks allow practitioners to share medical records, lab values medicines and other reports in a more sound manner.

Seventeen US communities have been designated as Beacon Communities across the united states based on their development of HIE’s. These communities’ health focus varies based on the patient population and prevalence of chronic disease states i. e. cvd, diabetes, asthma. The communities focus on specific and measurable improvements in quality, safety and efficiency due to health information exchange improvements. The best geographical Beacon community to Tennessee, in Byhalia, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, was granted a $100, 000 grant by the department of Health and Human Services in September 2011.

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