Baum points out that Americans are not only mobile, with many people moving from state to state several times over the course of their lifetimes, but they are also increasingly drawing healthcare services from nontraditional sources such as retail clinics and telemedicine.
Gathering up all of the jigsaw pieces that constitute "the complete picture" of a patient requires an integrated, national effort."
"It's just going to get exponentially worse going forward," Baum said of the growing number and variety of sources of information on individual patients such as wearable devices. "We're at the cusp of the industry having a flood of information."
He believes state-based health information exchanges will face an increasing challenge in gathering up all of the "baseline data that becomes the predictor of health," including blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol values. "That data is going to be increasingly coming from a more diverse set of sources," Baum said. "It's just expanding at a rate that we can't even project."
The vitaTrackr CEO says health information exchanges are an essential part of the drive to adopt population management techniques that will "move the needle" of American health, but the HIE future is national in scale.
"Ultimately, healthcare data is going to have to plug into a larger national infrastructure," Baum said. "You've got to enable an environment where in order to succeed in healthcare you have to be connected."
Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care editor at HealthLeaders.