How Indiana Health Information Exchange Impacts Patient Care
By: John Kansky, IHIE president and CEO
Nearly everyone has experienced how frustrating it is when health care records don’t follow you around. Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) makes it possible for healthcare teams across the state to get the patient information they need to provide the best possible care. John shares what to know about Health Information Exchange (HIE) and how it’s impacting patient care across the state and beyond.
Q: What is a Health Information Exchange (HIE)?
A: An HIE allows doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists and other healthcare providers to access and share essential patient health information securely and electronically. HIEs were created to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care to ultimately save lives.
Q: Why are HIEs important?
A: HIEs improve healthcare quality and overall patient care. So many medical records exist on paper, which adds layers of complexity when sharing those records via fax, mail, or phone by leaving room for medical and medication errors. When errors are made, the entire process is slowed down for both providers and patients. Timely sharing of patient information through HIEs can better inform decision making at the point of care. HIEs also improve the completeness of a patient’s records, as incomplete records can have a significant negative effect on care.
Q: What is IHIE?
A: Founded in 2004, IHIE is a non-profit organization formed by the Regenstrief Institute, BioCrossroads and other healthcare and community organizations in Indiana. IHIE enables hospitals, physicians, laboratories, payers, and other health service providers to avoid redundancy and deliver faster, more efficient, higher quality healthcare to patients in Indiana. It operates the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC), the nation’s largest interorganizational clinical data repository, with participation from over 120 hospitals, 18,000 practices and 50,000 providers, and it includes data on more than 17 million patients. IHIE makes healthcare better by electronically delivering clinical results to doctors and nurses and making the patient’s data available in hospital emergency departments, inpatient wards, outpatient clinics and other settings across the healthcare system.
Q: What does IHIE offer health care providers?
A: When a patient is rushed to the emergency room and has a health condition, the doctor can easily pull up their records if they use our services to properly prescribe medication. IHIE offers its members customized products and services to improve interoperability and ensure seamless delivery with electronic solutions, including products aimed at improving the health of the individual patient, products that provide insight into population health, and services that enable government agencies and organizations to better support public health. We have created an environment that organizes information around patients when and where they seek care and supports population and public health efforts that serve to strengthen our community. Today, by making information available to more than 50,000 healthcare providers in Indiana and neighboring states, we deliver services that make a real difference in health and healthcare.
Q: How has IHIE impacted patient care throughout the state?
A: IHIE partners with organizations to support business operations and improve its ability to deliver healthy outcomes. We’re more than just another vendor—our mission is to empower teams to work smarter and more efficiently with the data they expect. Not all technology improves patient care, which is why IHIE focuses on integrating only the data needed with electronic health records, meaning providers will save time and can focus on what matters most, the patient in the office. We work to integrate patient data seamlessly into current workflows and systems to empower healthcare providers to make quicker, better decisions that ultimately help avoid mistakes and save lives.
Q: What kinds of products does IHIE offer?
A: OneCare product suite includes some of our most widely used products, offering solutions to improve the health of the individual patient, while PopCare gives insight into population health. Products in this suite allow providers to track patients, measure progress and analyze data for a specific segment of the population. IHIE’s GovCare suite offers products and services in public health reporting and monitoring to promote healthier communities. Each product performs independent functions and services, but together, they provide solutions to make patient care even better. In addition to our product suites, IHIE has been producing vaccination data for local health and community leaders in all 92 Indiana counties to assist with planning and outreach activities that promote increased vaccination rates.