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."