Health Information Exchanges: One Solution to the Interoperability Dilemma

Health Information Exchanges: One Solution to the Interoperability Dilemma

Everybody knows the struggle. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city or changed insurance plans, but once again you’re having to change a majority, if not all, of your healthcare providers. Switching providers can be nerve-wracking enough especially after developing relationships with your previous providers, but now your new providers are requesting your medical records and history. A seemingly innocent and simple task is actually much more complicated than most realize. If your previous providers didn’t have patient portals, you’re stuck with either digging up all your printed medical documents at home (that you hopefully stored and filed), make copies and carry files appointment to appointment, or you must pay your previous physician’s office to print copies of your medical records, many times paying per printed page. Then, the next physician’s office must take your papers and somehow manage putting that information into their electronic health records (EHR) system. In general, the process is extremely cumbersome on the patient, which leads to patient frustration and lack of participation, and ultimately less information for a physician to make sound medical decisions.

Why can’t providers easily share data between each other? Why is it so difficult to share information in an age of EHRs and engaging patient portals? Shouldn’t the healthcare industry have figured this out by now? With other industries including banking and retail sharing information seamlessly, it’s hard to understand why healthcare is so far behind. Let’s break down the history behind EHRs, digital health and health information technology (HIT) below and discover some solutions in our blog post.  

Read More