News Feature | August 26, 2014

6 Tips For A Successful HIE Implementation

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer


Research published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research outlines six steps healthcare organizations can take to ensure their participation in a health information exchange is successful.

If you’re thinking of joining a health information exchange, researchers from the University of South Carolina and Claremont Graduate University have some advice for you. Based on interviews, data analysis, and direct observation they have come up with a list of six factors for successful HIE participation, reports Fierce Health IT.

“Much attention has been given to the proposition that the exchange of health information as an act, and health information exchange (HIE), as an entity, are critical components of a framework for health care change, yet little has been studied to understand the value proposition of implementing HIE with a statewide HIE,” explain authors in the Journal of Medical Internet Research - Medical Informatics.

“The objective of the study was to focus on the implementation of a health system onto a statewide HIE; provide insight into the technical, organizational, and governance aspects of a large private health system and the Virginia statewide HIE (organizations with the shared goal of exchanging health information); and to understand the organizational motivations and value propositions apparent during HIE implementation.”

The factors for HIE success, according to researchers are:

  1. a willingness to develop workarounds for unforeseen challenges, such as incompatible electronic health record systems
  2. a prioritization of HIE implementation by the implementation site
  3. executive buy-in and participation
  4. communication, especially by and between the HIE and the health system
  5. allocation of appropriate human resources from Day 1
  6. a project champion who can both make tough decisions and delegate authority

“It’s not a matter of whether to join an HIE, it’s a matter of when to join,” posits the HIMSS HIE Guide. “Participating in an HIE is a business venture that must be given careful thought. After all, it takes an entire community (all stakeholders) to make a difference in trying to help transform healthcare and achieve the many benefits.”