A health information exchange (HIE) framework is essential for health care organizations to achieve their goals of better coordinating patient care, meeting meaningful use stage two requirements and participating in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). Although many health care leaders recognize the value and benefits of creating an HIE, many are unsure of where to begin their HIE efforts.
To begin the journey of creating an HIE, organizations should take the following four steps:
- Assessment – Analyze your organization’s HIE risks and operational readiness
- Vision – Determine long-term direction so the HIE will contribute to the organization’s success
- Strategy – Develop an integrated strategy for the organization to achieve its HIE vision
- Plan – Create a tangible HIE action plan to put strategic steps into motion
Each step in the process should take into account the organization’s current business environment, from goals and objectives, to governance, infrastructure gaps, workflows, business practices and resource limitations. Data gathering is essential, and should take place via analyses and observations, as well as from in-depth interviews with executives and key stakeholders. In addition, potential opportunities and approaches must be explored along the way to achieve physician alignment and clinical data exchanges.
Optum provides services to help guide organizations through their initial HIE efforts. The Optum HIE Readiness Assessment is a first step in assisting organizations prepare for an effective HIE model and helps them achieve maximum benefit from the systems they choose to implement. These services are designed to take place prior to the implementation of HIE solutions. Additional Optum HIE services include project management, software build and configuration, software implementation, testing and training, as well as operational readiness and change management.
–Sam G. Saliba, National Solution Leader, HIE, Provider Solutions