Barely half of healthcare execs have begun to assess HIE readiness, says ECRI

ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving patient care, has published a report that explores healthcare leaders' preparedness to share data to improve coordination and quality of care.

[See also: HIE as a verb: ONC wants to move quickly on data exchange ]

The new white paper, "Crossing the Connectivity Chasm: Pinpointing Gaps in Readiness to Exchange Health Information," is based on the results of a survey conducted by ECRI Institute and strategic partner s2a, which specializes in health information exchange (HIE) and interoperability.

The survey findings show that healthcare leaders understand the importance of HIEs, but also spotlights the challenges they're facing in identifying what they need to do in order to successfully set up and maintain interoperability.

[See also: ECRI to poll healthcare leaders on data exchange]

"Only 54 percent of the respondents indicated that their organization has formally assessed their health information exchange and interoperability needs," said Thomas E. Skorup, vice president of ECRI Institute's Applied Solutions Group. "If an organization fails to address the gaps in its ability to exchange healthcare data, not only will it delay efforts to provide patient care and quality at lower costs, it may also prevent that organization from meeting Meaningful Use requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services."

The survey addressed 10 issues related to HIE. Participants indicated if they agreed, partially agreed or disagreed with statements such as:

  • Your organization's electronic health record (EHR)/electronic medical record (EMR) electronically exchanges health information with non-employed provider EHRs/EMRs.
  • Your organization has begun to utilize IT systems to analyze and manage the population health information needed to be more accountable for patient care.
  • Providers not employed by your organization have remote electronic access to your enterprise clinical information systems.

"Healthcare leaders know they need to create a fluid exchange of health information that allows them to demonstrate improved communication and coordination of care between providers," says s2a President John K. Evans. "But our data show that they need assistance in navigating the twists and turns of achieving interoperability."


To download the full white paper, visit ECRI Institute's website.