Health Language Blog

Evolving Insights into The Value of Health Information Exchanges

Posted on 07/29/13 | Comments


Health information exchanges (HIEs) are an appealing way of harnessing technology to improve care. Too often, doctors must make medical decisions based on incomplete clinical information. Electronic health records are part of the solution, but their full value won’t be achieved until they’re connected to provide a cross-institutional, comprehensive, timely and accessible view of a patient’s medical history.

Public and private HIEs are creating the connections and clearinghouses to make this possible. However, while everyone recognizes that better information can lead to better care, financing HIEs has proved to be very challenging. One hope has been that HIEs could pay off quickly in early cost savings. It stands to reason that doctors wouldn’t need to order as many tests if they knew the results of previous ones, and early studies led to very promising projections of costly tests averted.


Topics: HIE, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Radiology Testing, Health Information Technology, HIE Adoption

Little Savings on Tests Found Through HIE

Posted on 06/17/13 | Comments


Originally written by Susan D. Hall

A Colorado study of ambulatory practices found no significant reduction in the number of tests ordered or in the cost of tests among the participants of a Health Information Exchange (HIE). The Study analyzed claims data from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a leading health plan in the market, for 306 providers in 69 practices in Mesa County, CO. The study compared the number of tests ordered and their costs before and after the providers joined the HIE, which was launched in 2005 by Quality Health Network (QHN). By 2010, 85 percent of the providers in the area were participating in the HIE. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.


Topics: HIE, Health Plans, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Wolters Kluwer Health, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, American Medical Informatics Association, Quality, Health Network, ambulatory