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CHIME, eHI Provide Guide to Assist CIOs with Effective Decision-Making Around HIEs

November 15, 2011

To help healthcare CIOs make complex decisions involving how to achieve health information exchange (HIE) with other providers, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the eHealth Initiative (eHI) released, The HIE Guide for CIOs.

As healthcare organizations demonstrate the meaningful use of EHRs in Stage 1 of the HITECH program, a core objective that a provider must meet in order to qualify for stimulus funding is having the capability to “exchange clinical information electronically with other providers and patient-authorized entities.”

Providers only have to test data exchange in Stage 1, but federal officials have indicated that Stages 2 and 3 will have more requirements that will rely on achieving health information exchange.

The Web-based guide offers CIOs assistance related to HIE. It includes resources on:
• Assessing the local landscape for HIE
• Considerations in forming an Enterprise Health Information Organization
• Selecting an external Health Information Organization
• Technical requirements for HIE
• Assessing service offerings
• Ensuring privacy and confidentiality
• National HIE initiatives

“How health information exchange is achieved over the next few years is expected to change and evolve,” said Richard Correll, president and CEO of CHIME. “This guide is intended to be a starting point for identifying key issues for healthcare executives that are developing a ground-level understanding of how to accomplish health information exchange. As HIE grows and evolves in the coming months, this guide will be further refined to provide ongoing guidance on HIE decisions.”

“As we have tracked HIE initiatives over the past several years, we have learned that data exchange involves a lot of moving pieces,” said Jennifer Covich, executive director of Washington-based eHI. “Healthcare IT executives can use the HIE Guide for CIOs to help think through the process of getting involved in HIE.”

Content for the HIE Guide was developed by conducting research with CHIME’s CIO members who have had practical experience with health information exchange, as well as drawing upon the resources of eHI, particularly its HIE Toolkit, which provides in-depth information related to the development of health information organizations.

“The HIE Guide focuses on actionable information that healthcare IT executives need to know in order to make wise decisions to ensure successful health information exchange for their organization,” said George Hickman, vice president and CIO at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y., one of the reviewers of the publication. “These decisions must match an organization’s strategy, and health IT executives need a resource like this to walk them through the important factors they need to consider in order to make good HIE decisions.”

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