Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a system and industry that has benefited both health care providers and consumers significantly in terms of improving health care. To maximize its use and minimize any associated risks, a good knowledge of HIE is required.
The following are the most common scenarios where HIE proves indispensable:
Emergencies due to Accidents
If you figure in an accident and you couldn’t provide information about your medical background, your health care provider can simply look up those all-important details, such as your past illnesses, current medical condition, medications and the tests you’ve undergone. As a result, they can quickly come up with an emergency care plan for you.
Even if your area is devastated by a natural disaster of any kind, your health information will still be safe while being stored electronically.
Improved Care with Less Errors
When a health care provider can access your information anytime and anywhere, they will be able to get a more accurate picture of your health. That also means they will be able to give you the best treatment.
If you can’t give information about the medicine you’re taking at present, all they have to do is check your information so they can prescribe medicines that will not bring about any adverse drug reactions. This is actually a crucial benefit as any medical condition can turn for the worse when the patient is given the wrong drugs.
Another way HIE helps improve health care is by reducing the chances of duplicate tests, especially x-rays, which can be harmful because of the radiation, and other lab procedures that have risky side effects. Of course, this also comes with reducing your costs.
It is easy to track access to health information when it is stored electronically. In short, you would easily know who looked up your records, when, what type of information was accessed, and the like. When there is a need to obtain such details for legal purposes, everything becomes easier electronically as opposed to the traditional paper system.
Just like any system or process, HIE is associated with a number of controlled risks. One is identity theft, but this can be effectively addressed with the right system precautions and safeguards. In fact, all electronic systems are facing the same risk.
Another risk is feeding inaccurate information into the system, which again is easily addressed by assigning dependable stuff for this role. Paper files have the same risk, it is definitely lower with electronic files. HIE can also provide checks and balances which are impossible with paper records.
It’s good to ask your health care provider if they participate in HIE. If you have questions about your health data protection, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.