July - The Impact of Health Information Exchange
Margo Kerrigan, M.P.H, Area Director
Indian Health Service California Area Office
The Impact of Health Information Exchange
The ability to exchange health information electronically is the foundation of national efforts to improve health care quality and safety.
The Indian Health Service has developed a Health Information Exchange (HIE). The Health Information Exchange is designed to improve coordinated health care for the Native American population. The IHS Health Information Exchange will do this by providing a unified view of the patient’s health information. The IHS Health Information Exchange will provide connectivity to both internal facilities and external agencies. This connectivity will allow secure exchange of relevant patient data. All of this will occur while allowing each IHS facility to maintain ownership and control over its own patient data. This exchange of information is important because it will enable an overall view of a patient's medical history. This overall view will increase patient safety, reduce medical errors, enhance decision-making, and increase effectiveness.
The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) is also focused on advancing electronic health information exchange. The focus is to insure that patient information is available when and where it is needed for care. This access is provided while ensuring that the data is protected and exchanged under strict medical privacy and confidentiality standards and procedures. The goals are improving population health outcomes, ensuring secure data access that protects patient privacy and data integrity, engaging patients and their families as partners in their care.
California eHealth partners represent a broad cross section of government, private industry and non-profit organizations. These groups are working together to advance Health Information Exchange in California. Through their collaboration and commitment, these organizations and individuals are creating health IT jobs, boosting IT in healthcare, and making a significant impact on public health in California.
If you have lingering doubts about the value of Health Information Exchange, take a few minutes to listen to Regina Holliday as she tells how her husband’s life could have been more comfortable and potentially saved if medical information had been more available to his health care providers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msBYOYYeHPw