Report: 89 HIEs Functioning So Far

Security, 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.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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