The State Of HIE As 2012 Comes To A Close

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 21, 2012

Although medical professionals may have been using the phrase "health information exchange" for centuries, the health information sharing organizational arrangement used today was first mentioned in the popular media by the Canadian Press in 1977, according to Google's archives, when Canadian health officials agreed to set up an inter-provincial HIE for studying coronary bypass surgeries and occupational health trends.

Now, pretty much worldwide, HIE is a noun, verb, organization and process, and an integral part of modern medicine. In 2012, in the U.S. and elsewhere, dozens of HIEs and HIE technologies blossomed, with health organizations making advances in population health management, biomedical research and transparency, insurers buying HIEs amid accountable care programs and health information networks serving as a key public utility in times of natural disaster.

When Hurricane Sandy was flooding large swaths of New York City in late October, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) was functioning more or less undisturbed, fostering a smooth continuity of care at hospitals receiving patients evacuated from Manhattan. [...]