Health Information Exchange in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Case Study Findings: Final Report. Summary and Suggested Next Steps

09/18/2007

As described throughout this report, HIE across care settings has been observed to be costly, complicated, and challenging, as it, involves:

  • exchange of the full spectrum of health information (e.g., summaries to transfer care from one setting to another, exchange of medication and other orders, reporting of results, etc.);
  • exchange of health information between multiple parties, including across a number of unaffiliated clinicians, providers, and organizations;
  • use of a variety of information exchange mechanisms (e.g., face-to-face, telephone, fax, or the use of computers) within and across organizations, often employing more than one modality for a given "exchange;" and
  • varied e-HIE capacities within and across organizations (e.g., the ability to generate and/or receive any type of electronic health information [including standardized health information]).

During the site visits, in some instances HIE challenges stemmed from the technological inability to efficiently exchange electronic information (e.g., lack of software, including the lack of software that uses HIT standards). However, much of the complexity and variability in HIE appeared to be rooted in the different priorities various health care organizations placed on the exchange (by any method) of certain types of health information.

This section of the report summarizes findings identified through the site visits, literature review (see interim report entitled "Report on Health Information Exchange in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care"27), and other more recently available information related to HIE on behalf of persons receiving PAC and LTC, focusing particularly on the use of e-HIE. The report concludes with a discussion of activities that are or could be considered to accelerate the implementation of e-HIE on behalf of persons receiving PAC and LTC.

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