How Can a Standard CCD Help Communicate Information to Patients?
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From strictly a business sense, it’s logical for them to ask “What’s in it for me?” before investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on an EMR system just so they can connect with the local HIE. HIE directors must prove to the referring physician community that patients overwhelmingly want a system that securely exchanges their medical data, and that belonging to such a system will provide the physicians a return on their investment of an EMR system with external connectivity, HIE fees, and all the additional technology and staff required to make it functional. Through Meaningful Use and HHS, the government is also playing a major role in pushing all providers toward a modern, electronic medical system. However, time is of the essence for HIE sustainability and there are no government mandates that require participation in an HIE, regardless of the obvious benefits it has for patient care. Meaningful Use Stage 2 objectives may push eligible professionals to utilize an HIE, but those rules are not effective until 2014.
Achieving robust interoperability requires common language and structures to medical data so communication is seamless to care providers. This contrasts with current practice. Today, implementations of medical data exchange force both senders and recipients of medical data to plan in advance the content and format of exchange. This is akin to installing a unique web browser for each Web site on the Internet; the complexity and burden of such networking effectively isolates medical data at the point of care. Health information exchanges confront this same obstacle, where even successful networks note the challenge of normalizing heterogeneous EHR data (Blumenthal D, 2010). Information exchange is consequently the exception rather than the norm. Recent federal initiatives, however, are beginning to dismantle these barriers.
Combined with existing medication, imaging and lab data being shared from hospitals and labs, CCDs may give providers the additional clinical data needed at the point of care.
Grossman C, Powers B, McGinnis JM, Institute of Medicine Digital Infrastructure for the Learning Health System: The Foundation for Continuous Improvement in Health and Health Care. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011
Grannis SJ, Biondich PG, Mamlin BWet al.How disease surveillance systems can serve as practical building blocks for a health information infrastructure: the Indiana experience. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2005:286–290
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Washington, DC: 111th Congress of the United States of America; 2009
Blumenthal D, Tavenner M. The “meaningful use” regulation for electronic health records. N Engl J Med. 2010