HIE, or Health Information Exchange, systems are a central component of state and national health reform. The goal of these systems is to make electronic medical records mobile, allowing the effective exchange of data between medical organizations. HIE systems can provide many advantages over traditional medical record management. HIE systems are expected to lower costs for medical providers as well as patients and more thoroughly and effectively communicate important patient information. HIE systems will also dramatically reduce wasteful or redundant tests and consults, and will provide more comprehensive public health data. Furthermore, HIE systems are expected to significantly reduce the medical industry’s carbon footprint.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) allocated millions of dollars in federal funding for the organization of California’s HIE systems. Earlier this year, the State of California Health and Human Services Agency announced it would begin the process of creating a new governance entity for statewide HIE development and implementation. With the promise of safer, more patient-centered care; lowered medical costs; and more efficient, effective, and environmentally responsible record management; these HIE systems will be integral to the advancement of public health, medical progress, and economic stability in California.
Public-private partnership will form the backbone of successful HIE development. It’s crucial that California’s new HIE governance entity and public health officials make statewide HIE goals, requirements, and necessary protocols salient in an expeditious manner. Timely collaboration between California and its medical technology innovators will ensure that the most robust and effective solutions ultimately make it to market. California’s medical technology industry is poised to develop these solutions that will benefit both medical professionals and patients alike.
CALinnovates will continue to work with statewide HIE and our membership to ensure fluid communication as these policies are developed.