Health Information Exchange Featured Article

July 18, 2012

HIEs Now Focused on 'Actionable Information' Instead of EHRs and Meaningful Use

Maybe they feel they’ve spent enough time concentrating on the exchange of data and meaningful use incentives, but a new report has found that health information exchanges (HIEs) are now more focused on turning data into “actionable information”.

Erin McCann reports that the IDC MarketScape study, "U.S. Health Information Exchange Platform Solutions 2012 Vendor Assessment” shows the market’s priority shift will “enable emerging accountable care and collaborative care initiatives,” leading to additional market consolidation among HIE vendors.

Since another IDC Health Insights report was published two years ago, seven HIE vendors have been acquired or merged and payers, telecommunication companies and other nontraditional businesses have entered the field, McCann writes.

The study evaluated 16 vendors that offer a platform solution – which IDC Health Insight officials define as having development tools, published APIs, education of technical staff, a broad ecosystem of partners and professional services – for HIE and how those platforms have evolved.

"The IT requirements for health information organizations and evolving care delivery and reimbursement models are too extensive for any one vendor to satisfy," Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights, told McCann. "To address the business and technical requirements of accountable care, in addition to providing core HIE technologies, vendors are responding by developing, partnering, or acquiring analytics, collaborative care and patient engagement technologies."

Though some disagree, many see accountable care organizations (ACOs) as the heart and future of the healthcare reform movement.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers study says that, “Their (HIE) structures will change in the coming year, and health executives must prepare to explore a variety of options.”

And as the growth of electronic health records (EHRs) continues, the government is slowly shifting its attention to HIEs, and their importance.

Edited by Brooke Neuman