This article appears in the September 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Healthcare leaders can face a tough choice when it comes to joining a health information exchange now or waiting to see how things shake out a few years down the road.
There are two schools of thought: Get in now, either to achieve meaningful use or help craft the HIE to your liking, or wait and see which HIEs prove themselves successful.
If you plan to join an HIE that is just developing, get in early, says Randy McCleese, FHIMSS, CHCIO, vice president of information systems and CIO at St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead, KY.
“Get into the HIE development process as early as possible and make sure your voice is heard,” he says. “If you don’t and someone else sets it up, it may not serve all your needs.”
Providers who are aiming for meaningful use in 2011 or early 2012 should be involved in an HIE, says Brian Yeaman, MD, chief medical information officer at Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma, who has been the medical director of informatics for two HIEs in Oklahoma. But for those waiting to achieve meaningful use in late 2012 or 2013, he says it might be prudent to wait and see how the different HIE models shake out.