Assessment Released Of Health Information Exchanges (Part 2 of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | January 7, 2015

The previous installment of this article talked about the survivability of HIEs, drawing on a report released under ONC auspices. This installment delves into some other interesting aspects of information exchange.

Whenever data is a topic, policy issues around ownership and privacy cannot be dismissed. The HIE report does not address them directly, but they peek out from behind questions of how all this stuff gets stored.

Two essential strategies allow data sharing. In the simpler strategy, the HIE vacuums up data from all the providers who join. In a more subtle and supple strategy, known as a federated system, the HIE leaves the data at the providers and just provides connectivity. For instance, the HIE report explains that some HIEs store enough data to identify patients and list the providers who have data on them (this uses a master patient index, which solves the common problem of matching a patient). Once a patient is matched, the HIE retrieves relevant data from each provider...