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Jerris Heaton

How HIE Is Playing a Role in Navigating the Coronavirus Outbreak

April 6, 2020

EHR 3 Minute Read

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to send shockwaves through the global healthcare system, it’s more critical than ever that providers and practices do their part to ensure the response is as organized and beneficial as possible.

With that in mind, the role of Health Information Exchange (HIE) is an important one.

By properly utilizing the channels available for the sharing of beneficial data surrounding the pandemic, the healthcare community can present a more unified front in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

What Is HIE, Exactly?

HIE is the practice of facilitating the sharing of and access to clinical data designed to deliver better care, aid in the analysis of healthcare populations and, ultimately, engineer efficient, positive patient outcomes.

HIE can also refer to communities and channels that help facilitate that exchange, such as the United States Center for Disease Control’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program and others at state and regional levels.

HIE's and COVID19

In short, HIE is a way for providers, hospitals and other critical members of the healthcare ecosystem to work together to collect, share and analyze data that could help produce not only a better response during the period of uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, but a healthier ecosystem, overall.

How does HIE Help Patients and Providers?

HIE provides numerous benefits for the healthcare industry, including:

  • A general boost in the coordination of care:
    As healthcare providers share clinical information, patient outcomes, safety and more improve as data distills to well-understood, important trends. This sharing of data helps providers better treat patients based on past experiences, eliminates unnecessary and extraneous testing, and increases cooperation throughout the healthcare ecosystem.

  • Easy access to information:
    Particularly in the case of well-establish HIEs, better access to critical data is more possible than ever before.

  • Error reduction:
    As more and more clinical data is shared, medical errors, incorrect medication provision, duplicate paperwork and other detrimental mistakes are cut down, providing an avenue toward higher quality, safer and more efficient care.

How does HIE Ease the Burden of COVID-19?

It comes down to the regional and national HIEs helping facilitate the overall exchange of medical data.

Though the health data infrastructure in the U.S. has seen some weaknesses exposed in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus, key players have also stepped up to ensure data exchange is playing a critical role in fighting back against COVID-19.

HIE's and COVID19

In particular, organizations like the Indiana Health Information Exchange, The Health Collaborative in Cincinnati, Healthix in New York City and more are working with state governments and health departments to provide real-time alerts, daily reporting strategies, increased data collection and aggregation, and more that are boosting cooperation and plans of attack.

Increased interoperability and further use of HIE and the organizations that facilitate and promote it will be critical as the healthcare community continues to respond to the global outbreak, though there’s still work to be done.

Ideally, national or international HIE needs to play a larger role in the world’s pandemic response and, as a result, create a lasting data environment more prepared to handle similar strains in the future.

To learn more about how ChartLogic’s solutions are working toward increased interoperability, click here.

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