One area that the research found needs more attention is that of care summaries and medication lists. The research found that only about one-third of hospitals exchanged clinical care summaries or medication lists with outside providers.
New research, published recently in Health Affairs, from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), shows that health information exchange (HIE) between hospitals and other providers jumped 41 percent between 2008 and 2012.
The research – authored by national coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, M.D., and ONC researchers – indicates that six in 10 hospitals actively exchanged electronic health information with providers and hospitals outside their organization in 2012.
The research suggests that electronic health records (EHRs) and health information organizations (HIOs) are complementary tools used to enable health information exchange. Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which requires eligible hospitals to exchange with outside organizations using different EHR systems and share summary of care records during transitions of care, can help accelerate hospital use of HIE as a means to enhance care quality and safety.
“We know that the exchange of health information is integral to the ongoing efforts to transform the nation’s health care system and we will continue to see that grow as more hospitals and other providers adopt and use health IT to improve patient health and care,” said Dr. Mostashari. “Our new research is crystal clear: health information exchange is happening and it is growing. But we still have a long road ahead toward universal interoperability.”
This slideshow features highlights of the new study.
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