Health information exchange can be defined as a regional partnership among autonomous healthcare institutions to share medical information. HIEs can be grouped according to their style of governance. There are those that are managed by nonprofit organizations while others are controlled by a governmental agency. With an ever growing American population, it is important to have a standardized mode of exchanging medical records within the healthcare system.
By employing HIEs, it is possible to increase safety in treatment procedures, minimize time for diagnosis, reduce medication errors as well make the healthcare system more efficient and productive. There are numerous emergency scenarios where a patient is unable to talk, thus it becomes easy to make a mistake during diagnosis, which translates to a wrong treatment procedure. The impact is felt most among the aging population as well as those suffering from chronic illnesses such asthma, cardiovascular problems, diabetes among others. That is why we need specialists who will help in providing the required medical information to healthcare providers on behalf of these groups of people, in a timely and more proficient way.
There have been notable progress in control of HIEs which has made it possible to evade carrying out duplicate tests in addition to decreased times of readmission of a patient to the hospital. It has been found out that healthcare providers save a significant amount of time in treating a patient whose data is in the HIE records. As a result, this has also led to improved satisfaction to the patients.
Nonetheless, it is vital to realize that HIE consulting can be improved by a great extent when standardization is done. HIE interoperability would require institutions that provide these services to subscribe to specific standards so that the process of information exchange can be made more efficient. The process would otherwise be rendered tiresome if this is not done. This process can be related to the use of a certain language as a medium of communication among various communities. Usage of a common language is an important tool that enhances integration among people from different ethnic communities. The only major aim of standardization is to help enhance the process of exchanging medical records. Use of standardization is important as it enhances the level of understanding among the various players within the industry.
The department of Health and Human services is currently the one that provides supervisory duties with regards to healthcare concerns of the citizens in the United States, although there are other players for HIE consulting that operate within the private sector. The department is divided into ten regions that span across the entire United States of America. Nevertheless, the process of implementing and improving HIE services to the American citizens has followed different growth patterns owing to the diverse demographic factors.