Inland Empire Health Information Exchange will “Go Live” April 1, 2012.
The Inland Empire Health Information Exchange (IEHIE) is a collaborative of Riverside and San Bernardino County hospitals, medical centers, medical groups, clinics, IPAs, physician practices, health plans, public health and other healthcare providers. IEHIE brings needed technology to access and securely share electronic patient health records for more than 4.1 million people living in the Inland Empire. The IEHIE gives healthcare providers immediate access to a state-of-the-art electronic health records network. IEHIE technology allows doctors, clinics, hospitals and other healthcare providers to electronically review and access medical records, resulting in timely, safer and improved quality of healthcare for the patients in our community.
With that announcement the real purpose and mission begins.
Physicians, provider groups and hospitals are all at different stages of implementing eHR.
Many providers also are using practice management software and focused software solutions already implemented for practice workflow.
The health information exchange means nothing without proper use by providers. It is perhaps the last link in the workflow equation, but may present it’s usefulness at the first patient encounter with the provider who requires historical information about a patient, or a laboratory result.
Not all health information exchanges are created equal nor do they provide identical information. HIE is not something that is delivered in a 'black box' and is just plugged in.
Similar to planning for an electronic medical record, it will be important to assess a workflow of a practice to determine where the HIE fits. It may have several applications at different segments of your workflow....pre-visit, admissions, laboratory portal and others.
Anticipate that your HIE may not deliver all that you expect initially. Each component of the EMR and medical record requires interoperability to exchange information, and each type of data set uses different standards.
The standards have been designed by the NHIN so that any NIST certified electronic medical record should work with the IHIE. Meaningful use requires that your EMR communicate with the IHIE.
The Inland Empire Health Information Exchange can also be utilized by providers who do not yet use an EMR by using the WEBportal for laboratory, imaging, and patient identifiers. Patient identifiers can be assigned, such as diagnosis, immunization and others
The key to choosing an EMR or eRX platform is studying workflow to determine how and which EMR will serve you best.