$564 Million Later, Little Health Information Exchange Happening

Ken Terry | Information Week | April 3, 2012

The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC), a public-private partnership funded by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, has released a report on current efforts to promote health information exchanges (HIEs), along with some suggestions on the best ways for healthcare communities to build HIEs. But indications are that most public HIEs are still encountering numerous obstacles.

At a press conference announcing the report, Chris Muir, state HIE project manager for the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC), laid out the extent of the challenge. Despite all the efforts and investments that have been made, including $564 million in federal funds, Muir said, "There is relatively little information exchange that's taking place across the country."

He pointed out that in many areas, the infrastructure isn't even there yet for health data exchange. Where public HIEs do exist, he noted, few providers are signing up for the available services--and even when they do sign up, many people don't use what's available. Usability, trust, and workflow issues may be to blame, he suggested...