Health information exchange involves mobilizing healthcare information across organizations within a hospital system, community, or region. The details, captured as electronic medical records, or EMRs, are moved electronically between different health care information systems. This is done via an EMR interface that maintains the integrity of the information.
The goal of health information exchange is to simplify the process of accessing and retrieving clinical data. Doing so allows patient care to become safer and more efficient, timely, and effective. Included in the information being exchanged are details obtained via computerized physician order entry, or CPOE, which are medical professional instructions regarding the treatment of a patient.
A system of information exchange assists physicians, hospitals, and laboratories with meeting high standards regarding patient care. They are able to participate with each other electronically for the continued care of a patient. EMR integration expands access to medical information crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.
In addition to increased collaboration and communication, benefits include a reduction in treatment expenses. Duplicate tests, the time involved to obtain missing health information, the cost to print, mail, scan, or fax health records, and time on the phone verifying their delivery are all eliminated. According to one study, this equates to a $17,160 annual reduction in expenses. That money can instead be used to pay for new testing and diagnosis technology for the physician office, lab, or hospital.
Heath information exchange is made simpler due to the emergence of organizations that design and install the EMR interface between the hospital or lab and the physician office. Development and installation of this component is a complex process due to the various EMR systems in existence. Organizations like this play a vital role in enabling labs and hospitals to remain competitive in a healthcare environment that changes on a daily basis.