Lately, there has been a lot of attention focused on health data exchange. Dozens of health information exchange (HIE) and technology websites, news syndicates, and blogs have posted articles about the critical role that data interoperability and health data management will play in the future.
How ready is your EHR system for health information exchange? Meaningful Use Stage 2 will require ongoing and secure exchange of patient information. As proposed, the requirements include:
- Exchanging Summary of Care Records: Physicians must send a summary of care for 65% of transitions and/or referrals to another provider or setting, and 10% must be sent electronically to a provider in a different organization using a different EHR system.
- Sending a Secure Message: For a physician to demonstrate meaningful use, 10% of his/her patients would have to send a secure message to the physician or practice using the EHR. Providers can install alternative technology for patients to deliver the message, like a personal health record (PHR), a patient portal, or some type of stand-alone secure messaging application.
- Receiving and Incorporating Clinical Lab Test Results as Structured Data: Providers will have to incorporate 55% of all lab test results as structured data in their EHR.
- Ongoing Electronic Transmission of Immunization Data: In Stage 1, healthcare providers only had to conduct a test of their capability to share this data. Now, providers will have to successfully electronically transmit immunization data on an ongoing basis.
- Public Health-Agencies or Registries: In addition, 3 of the 5 menu measures involve the sharing of data with public health-agencies or registries.
Your EHR should handle these data interoperability functionalities with ease. If you’re unsure what your EHR capabilities are, contact your vendor. Don’t get left behind on health data exchange.