Health information exchange can be defined as a regional partnership among autonomous healthcare institutions to share medical information. HIEs can be grouped according to their style of governance. 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.
By employing HIEs, it is possible to increase safety in treatment procedures, minimize time for diagnosis, reduce medication errors as well make the healthcare system more efficient and productive. In most cases of emergency where patients are unable to express themselves, diagnosis can be wrongly done, thereby leading to a incorrectly initiated treatment process. The effect is felt most among the elderly people or those ailing from chronic diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular complications, 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.
Advances in management of HIEs has seen the reduction in number of hospital re-admissions as well as avoiding carrying out duplicate tests. 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.
However, it is worth noting that HIE consulting can be more enhanced if 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. A good example of standardization in HIE consulting is the use of a specific language for communication among people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Use of a common language helps to foster integration among diverse communities that would have otherwise been unable to interact due to language barrier. It is worth to note that standardization helps to improve the process of exchanging medical information. It helps to increase the level of understanding among the many players within the healthcare system.
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. Nevertheless, the process of implementing and improving HIE services to the American citizens has followed different growth patterns owing to the diverse demographic factors.