Health information exchange is termed as the process of having independent healthcare providers from a particular region exchanging medical records. 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. The population of the United States is ever-increasing, implying that a standardized method of sharing clinical data is prudent within the healthcare system.
There are many advantages of using HIEs such as improving safety during treatment processes, reducing time used during diagnosis, decreasing clinical errors and making the healthcare system more competent and fruitful. In many cases of emergency where a patient might not be in a position to speak, errors can be made in carrying out diagnosis, which is then followed by initiating a treatment procedure to a wrongly identified disease. The impact is felt most among the aging population as well as those suffering from chronic illnesses such asthma, cardiovascular problems, diabetes among others. That is why we need specialists who will help in providing the required medical information to healthcare providers on behalf of these groups of people, in a timely and more proficient way.
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.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that HIE consulting can be greatly enhanced 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. It is analogous to use of a particular language for communication among diverse ethnic communities. When people from different communities use a common language for communication, they are able to communicate in more effective way. The only major aim of standardization is to help enhance the process of exchanging medical records. Use of standardization is important as it enhances the level of understanding among the various players within the industry.
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. There are ten regions that make up the Department of Health and Human services, which span across all parts of the United States. However, implementation and improvement of HIE services has taken longer in some states than in others due to diverse demographic factors.