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5 Reasons You Need an HIE Now

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2013

Health information technology is full of promises—and ever-escalating costs. But there's one technology I would bet on right now. That's the technology to accurately, securely, and easily transfer health data information from one system to another.

In the switch from fee-for-service healthcare to accountable care, the old ways of developing healthcare systems aren't working. The escalating cost of care is due in no small part to overspending on hospital capacity, equipment that isn't always needed, over-engineered technology, short-sighted planning and bad hunches.

But there's one technology in particular I would bet on right now. That is the technology to accurately, securely, and easily transfer health data information from one system to another.

Let me give you the top five reasons why a healthcare information exchange should be your top information technology priority.

1. Compatibility: Legacy healthcare systems are not going away. Look around your hospital or medical practice. Before you is more than 30 years of investment in productivity-enhancing, safety-producing information technology. Some of it is easily replaceable, but built into the rest are some of the real assets of how your organization maintains its edge: a series of workflows, business processes, algorithms, hints, clues, roadmaps and best practices. But chances are, elements of these exist in different, often incompatible hardware and software systems. You cannot simply rip and replace entire systems, and when you do, the price is steep. Now and for the foreseeable future, you are going to need health information exchange technology to tie these pieces together.

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