Report: 89 HIEs Functioning So FarSecurity, funding are key challenges A new report validates 89 functioning U.S. health information exchanges that serve multiple organizations in a region. In addition to achieving financial viability, key challenges for emerging exchanges include tackling privacy, security and patient consent issues, according to the report.
Hundreds of efforts to create HIEs are under way across the nation, but KLAS, an Orem, Utah-based research firm, says only 89 are actually exchanging data.
Best known for providing funding for electronic health records, the HITECH Act also encourages the secure exchange of information via HIEs and, ultimately, a national health information network. A new federal Beacon Community program, for example, will provide $220 million in grants to 15 regional efforts to build exchanges.
Technology from Axolotl Corp. and Epic Systems Corp. is most frequently used by HIEs that exchange data mainly among hospitals, according to the report. For HIEs that link hospitals to ambulatory care settings, such as physicians' offices, the leading vendors are Medicity Inc. and McKesson Corp.'s Relay Health unit.
"It's no surprise that, so far, the most successful HIEs are those with the least complex approaches," says Jason Hess, author of the report.