Health Information Exchange
Health Information Exchange (HIE) refers to the process of reliable and interoperable electronic health-related information sharing conducted in a manner that protects the confidentiality, privacy, and security of the information. The development of widespread HIEs is quickly becoming a reality. Health Information Organizations (HIOs) are the organizations that oversee HIE. For HIOs to function, they must have the capability to employ nationally recognized standards to enable interoperability, security and confidentiality, and to ensure authorization of those who access the information.
The HIE implementation challenge will be to create a standardized interoperable model that is patient centric, trusted, longitudinal, scalable, sustainable, and reliable. HIM principles will be critical to the success of HIEs and the nationwide health information network. HIEs, enabled by technology, are expected to improve the quality of care and patient safety and reduce healthcare costs.
HIM professionals are among the experts stakeholders needed for health information exchange. Healthcare workflow, patient privacy rights, state and federal disclosure laws, secondary data, and data integrity issues (including duplicate patient records) are all part of the HIM professional’s body of knowledge. This knowledge base uniquely positions the HIM professional to navigate the barriers to Health Information Exchange (HIE) and facilitate the definition of key workflows and processes. It also qualifies the HIM professional to assume a leadership role in an HIE.
AHIMA is taking an active role in standards setting efforts for HIE and has convened a Practice Council of Experts appointed by the Board of Directors to provide guidance to the Association concerning HIE. Visit the Advocacy and public policy center health information exchange pages for more information on standards setting activities.
Through development of privacy and security policies regarding methods for accessing the HIE system, provisioning, authorizing, and authenticating users, and auditing access, HIM professionals have the opportunity to engage with colleagues and other stakeholders in defining functional business processes in the various systems sharing health data. These processes should be based on best-practice data quality principles and attributes that result in improved quality of care and patient safety. AHIMA has multiple resources addressing HIE issues to assist with this challenge.