Health information exchange is termed as the process of having independent healthcare providers from a particular region exchanging medical records. HIEs are grouped mainly according to how they are administered and managed. Some HIEs are managed by nonprofit organization while others are controlled by a government agency. The population of the United States is ever-increasing, implying that a standardized method of sharing clinical data is prudent within the healthcare system.
Use of HIEs allows for improved safety in treatment techniques, decreases time for analysis, minimizes medical mistakes and improves the proficiency and productivity of the healthcare system. There are numerous emergency scenarios where a patient is unable to talk, thus it becomes easy to make a mistake during diagnosis, which translates to a wrong treatment procedure. The most affected group comprises of the elderly and those who suffer from prolonged sicknesses such as cardiovascular problems, asthma, diabetes among other diseases. This shows how important it is to have experts who can share medical information to healthcare providers on behalf the chronically ill and elderly people, in a more timely and well-organized manner.
There have been notable progress in control of HIEs which has made it possible to evade carrying out duplicate tests in addition to decreased times of readmission of a patient to the hospital. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that healthcare providers save a lot of time when treating patients whose information is in the HIE database. As a result, this has also led to improved satisfaction to the patients.
However, it is worth noting that HIE consulting can be more enhanced if standardization is done. HIE interoperability would require institutions that provide these services to subscribe to specific standards so that the process of information exchange can be made more efficient. When standardization is not done, the process would become very tiresome. It is analogous to use of a particular language for communication among diverse ethnic communities. Use of a common language helps to foster integration among diverse communities that would have otherwise been unable to interact due to language barrier. It is worth to note that standardization helps to improve the process of exchanging medical information. It helps to increase the level of understanding among the many players within the healthcare system.
Besides having the department of Health and Human services as the main body that controls HIE consulting in the United States, there are other organizations within the private sector. There are ten regions that make up the Department of Health and Human services, which span across all parts of the United States. However, implementation and improvement of HIE services has taken longer in some states than in others due to diverse demographic factors.