ONC: health exchanges increased 41 percent last four years


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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released a study on Tuesday showing that health information exchanges between hospitals and other providers increased 41 percent between 2008 and 2012.

The research showed that six in 10 hospitals actively exchange electronic health information with providers and hospitals outside their organization.

“We know that the exchange of health information is integral to the ongoing efforts to transform the nation’s health care system and we will continue to see that grow as more hospitals and other providers adopt and use health IT to improve patient health and care,” said Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for Health Information Technology. “Our new research is crystal clear: health information exchange is happening and it is growing. But we still have a long road ahead toward universal interoperability.”

Highlights of the new study:

  • 58 percent of hospitals exchanged data with providers outside their organization in 2012 and hospitals’ exchanges with other hospitals outside their organization more than doubled during the study period.
  • Hospitals with basic EHR systems and participating in health information organizations had the highest rates of hospital exchange activity in 2012, regardless of the organizational affiliation of the provider exchanging data or the type of clinical information exchanged.
  • The proportion of hospitals that adopted at least a basic EHR and participated in an HIO grew more than fivefold from 2008 to 2012.
  • Between 2008 and 2012, there were significant increases in the percent of hospitals exchanging radiology reports, laboratory results, clinical care summaries and medication lists with hospitals and providers outside of their organization.
  • 84 percent of hospitals that adopted an EHR and participated in a regional HIO exchanged information with providers outside their organization.

To see state-level estimates for several of the measures included in the new study, visit ONC’s Health IT Adoption and Use dashboard.

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Farzad Mostashari, Health IT, Tech News