Ninety-two percent of the U.S. population is served by health information exchanges (HIEs) across the nation that are members of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), according to survey results released today by the national collaborative.
These results were released as SHIEC opens its fifth annual national conference in National Harbor, Md. The survey, according to SHIEC officials, shows not only the growth of HIEs nationally but also the value that is being delivered. “We’ve believed in the value of HIEs since the early days of SHIEC, but we wanted to measure how HIEs provide critical national infrastructure to improve the way healthcare is delivered in communities across the nation,” said SHIEC’s CEO, Kelly Hoover Thompson.
SHIEC was founded in 2014 and now has 135 organizations which include 76 HIE members, and 59 strategic business and technology (SB&T) members, organizations that sell products and services to HIEs. The HIE’s in SHIEC have provided more than 650 years of combined service to their communities.
Indeed, the survey data revealed that America’s HIEs are serving 92 percent of Americans, delivering more than one billion clinical alerts annually. These are real-time notifications of hospital admissions, discharges or transfers (ADTs) delivered to doctors, hospitals and other organizations tasked with coordinating the care and services of high-needs patients. These alerts trigger follow-up and care coordination that reduce hospital readmissions and improve outcomes, SHIEC officials attest.
What’s more, Ii 2016, SHIEC member HIE’s came together to connect the nation through the Patient Centered Data Home Model, aiming to enable near-real time alerting about important clinical events. The survey shows that the PCDH model continues to grow, with participation increasing by 230 percent and the number of alerts delivered increasing by more than 300 percent over the last year. More than 200 million patients are served by HIE’s connected to the nationwide PCDH network, officials noted.
Dan Porreca, executive director of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based HEALTHeLINK and chair of the SHIEC board said in a statement that he believes that HIEs now connect critical infrastructure in communities across the country “Across the country, HIEs are working with a broad range of organizations that form the fabric of community social service networks,” Porreca said. “And HIEs are sharing information to improve healthcare and health status.”
In a recent interview with Healthcare Innovation, Hoover Thompson further discussed the changing HIE landscape, what she’s most looking forward to at this year’s conference, and how policy considerations such as the federal TEFCA (the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement) interoperability plan are playing a larger role. That interview in full can be read here.