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Beacon Partners Study Finds Most Healthcare Organizations Recognize Benefits of HIEs

January 25, 2012

According to the Beacon Partners “Health Information Exchange Study: Assessing the Interest and Value in HIE Participation,” many healthcare executive respondents recognize the benefits of participating in an HIE, but lack an HIE budget. Nearly 70% of respondents are currently planning for an HIE, despite their perceptions of high start-up costs and other governance issues.

More than 200 healthcare C-suite executives responded to the study, with more than half of the respondents being CIOs. Also, most respondents (58%) were from community hospitals, the largest segment of the hospital industry, according to the American Hospital Association.

“HIEs are top of mind for many healthcare organizations, and this study demonstrates their concerns and overall opinions,” said Kevin Burchill, director at Beacon Partners. “We’ve seen and heard first hand that healthcare executives know the importance and benefits of an HIE, but this study confirms their concerns over the lack of a budget — mostly due to high start-up costs and insufficient capital.”

Forty one percent of respondents consider high start-up costs and insufficient capital to support HIEs as their top concerns.

Other findings include:
•64% of respondents named the CIO as the person responsible for HIE development, while governance considerations for HIEs and potential connecting “partners” are the responsibility of others in the C-suite leadership group.
•Approximately half of respondents have not yet created a department, oversight group or executive role to handle the HIE initiative.
•38% of respondents have annual budgets for HIE development of less than $1 million, while 21% have NO budget.
•66% of respondents see HIEs as a positive move for their organization and 42% also believe HIEs will improve patient outcomes (and not one respondent felt it would have a negative effect on patient outcomes).
•Other HIE components that respondents felt would have a positive impact on their organization: Primary care connectivity (88%), Continuum-of-care (84%), Clinical quality reporting (74%), Patient accessibility (67%), Interoperable IT systems (66%) and Medical staff alignment efforts (59%).

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