News | Information Technology | August 18, 2016

New Paper Proposes Strategies for Expanding HIE Participation

Financial incentives, value-added services and introduction of multiple HIE networks suggested as methods to encourage participation

HIE, health information exchanges, participation strategy, Binghamton University

August 18, 2016 — The U.S. healthcare industry has failed to create and sustain an efficient network for storing and sharing patient medical data, but a new proposed strategy could make the process easier and more affordable. The proposal was made by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

“A patient’s medical history is often fragmented because people usually move from practitioner to practitioner, but their records don’t follow them,” said Emre Demirezen, assistant professor of supply chain management at Binghamton University. “Lack of coordination of care impacts both the patients and the providers in terms of time, money and health outcomes.”

In his new co-authored paper, Demirezen suggests ways for healthcare administrators and policymakers to encourage more providers to implement and use healthcare information exchanges (HIEs), which allow clinical information (medical history, family medical history, medications prescribed, disabilities and allergies) to be transferred electronically among healthcare providers. According to the paper, “HIEs will reduce duplication of tests; paper, ink and manual document printing needs; and phone calls and other follow-ups for test results.”

Demirezen said the long-term benefits of HIEs may be obvious to proponents, but problems related to cost, implementation and viability have been seldom explored by experts. He said that HIEs can be sustained financially by developing costing structures for HIE members. In regions where heterogeneity among health providers is high, meaning there is the presence of both large and small providers, he said there are several strategies to increase HIE participation:

Financial incentives — Financial incentives are one way to encourage hospitals and practitioners to use technology to log and transfer patient medical data. The paper suggests that HIE providers, whether they are a public or a private enterprise, should offer more incentives to help small health providers establish electronic health record systems at a very low cost or for free. Demirezen said that basic incentives alone would not entice all health providers to join a network when there are both large and small providers in the region.

Value-added services — Another way to increase participation in these exchanges is by offering more features, or value-added services, in addition to basic connectivity to an HIE. Examples of value-added services could be the use of an e-prescription tool or quality management portals. “Value-added services are one of the best possible business strategies for sustaining HIEs,” Demirezen said.

Multiple HIE networks — Demirezen also suggests that adding a second network in a region could increase the HIE participation among low-gain providers, or providers that will expect a low gain in terms of profit and value after joining an HIE.

“We found that having a second HIE in the same region that only focuses on low-gain providers could cause more providers to participate in the exchange,” he said. “Our research also suggests that certain providers would be more interested in participating in an HIE if the second HIE promises more value to them, such as offering electronic health record solutions for free or at a discount.”

Demirezen said that there is no question whether or not HIEs will improve healthcare systems, but making the HIEs financially stable is an integral part of the solution.

“It’s a matter of how the industry can make these exchanges financially viable and sustainable,” he said. “To deliver affordable, high-quality and efficient care, a physician or hospital needs the ability to obtain and transfer good information. HIE leverages technology to provide a continuum of care that is necessary to innovate the industry.”

Demirezen co-authored the paper with professors Subodha Kumar and Arun Sen of Texas A&M University. The paper, “Sustainability of Healthcare Information Exchanges: A Game–Theoretic Approach,” was published in Information Systems Research in June 2016.

For more information: www.pubsonline.informs.org/journal/isre

Related Content

Technology | Enterprise Imaging | February 23, 2018
Visage Imaging Inc. announced the latest version of the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform, Visage 7.1.11, has been...
News | PACS Accessories | February 22, 2018
The RamSoft team will showcase radiology solutions to help users cut costs and save time at the 2018 Healthcare...
ECR 2018 Spotlights Artificial Intelligence and Current Radiology Trends
News | Interventional Radiology | February 21, 2018
The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) announced the theme of its 2018 annual meeting, Feb. 28-March 4 in Vienna...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Flat Panel Displays | February 21, 2018
This 5 megapixel, high-brightness color monitor has the high-definition display necessary for breast imaging.
Barco Highlights Imaging Workflow Compliance at HIMSS18
News | Flat Panel Displays | February 21, 2018
Barco will showcase its full line of radiology and mammography display systems with online quality assurance (QA)...
Lumedx Demonstrates Advanced Analytics at HIMSS18
News | Information Technology | February 20, 2018
February 20, 2018 – LUMEDX Corporation, a top cardiovascular data intelligence company, will show off the latest in a
Logicalis White Paper Aims to Optimize Every Healthcare IT Dollar
News | Information Technology | February 20, 2018
February 20, 2018 – Digital transformation is happening in all industries, and it will happen in healthcare whether h
Agfa Introduces Improved Engage Suite for Integrated Care
News | Patient Engagement | February 16, 2018
At the 2018 Healthcare and Information Management Systems Society annual meeting (HIMSS18), Agfa HealthCare will...
Radiography Education Enrollment Shows Marginal Rise in 2017
News | Business | February 15, 2018
Directors of radiography educational programs report the number of enrolled students increased slightly in 2017, while...
Arterys Receives First FDA Clearance for Oncology Imaging Suite With Deep Learning
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | February 15, 2018
Arterys Inc. announced its fifth 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Arterys...
Overlay Init