First edition of HIE Ready Buyers' Guide to facilitate health information exchange released

Published on November 3, 2012 at 1:47 AM · No Comments

The UC Davis Health System's Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) today released the first edition of its "HIE Ready Buyers' Guide" to facilitate health information exchange (HIE), especially in California.

Produced by IPHI's California Health eQuality (CHeQ) program in collaboration with California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) and state HIE leaders, the guide identifies the base features and standards that should be in place to facilitate health-care data exchange today.

The first of its kind in California, the guide fills a void by providing users an assessment of a product's readiness to exchange information between and among electronic health record (EHR) systems and Health Information Organizations (HIOs).

The "HIE Ready Buyers' Guide" will help physicians, hospitals and other health-care providers make informed choices when discussing HIE capabilities with EHR system vendors or with HIOs. It allows purchasers to make side-by-side comparisons of important HIE features based on commonly accepted interoperability and interface standards embedded in the EHRs of products included in the guide. It also provides information on how well an HIO supports those same standards.

"Notwithstanding the improved information flow that an electronic health record makes possible within a hospital or medical practice, even certified EHRs often have limited capacity to share important care-related data with other EHRs, in effect creating electronic information silos," said Kenneth W. Kizer, distinguished professor and IPHI director.

"Upgrading EHRs so that information can flow between and among other EHRs and HIOs often requires additional customization to create 'interfaces' that allow the EHRs to communicate with each other," he said. " 'The HIE Ready Buyers' Guide' helps address this problem by creating more transparency in capabilities and compliance with interoperability standards We appreciate those vendors and organizations that have participated in this first edition of the guide and look forward to welcoming additional organizations in the next edition."

To develop the "HIE Ready Buyers' Guide," IPHI's CHeQ program identified a set of commonly accepted standards and features available in many EHR and HIE systems whose deployment now will enable parties to exchange health information needed for care delivery. HIE Ready is consistent with Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria and the current version of the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB) for EHR technology. It also will be consistent with Stage 2 Meaningful Use and 2014 ONC-ATCB certification criteria.

The Buyer's Guide also reports on relative cost and six capabilities:

  • admit, discharge, and transfer information (ADT)/demographics;
  • laboratory and radiology results and notes;
  • laboratory and radiology orders;
  • referrals and appointments;
  • care summary/continuity of care document (CCD); and
  • public-health reporting.
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