In response to Matthew DoBias' Current state, future of RHIOs shaky: study:
Your article outlines well the emerging realities of health information exchange, or HIE. In this connection, advocates of HIE should consider lessons learned by law enforcement information exchange, just as law enforcement information exchange has learned valuable lessons from HIE.
Law enforcement agencies, like healthcare providers, need access to efficient, secure, authenticated and ubiquitous information exchange services. Since the mid-1990s, a number of "stovepipe" law enforcement information exchange systems have been implemented, each at a significant capital and operational cost for hardware and software, space, personnel and governance processes. Over the past few years, national policymakers have recognized that the capital and operational costs of maintaining numerous "stovepipe" law enforcement information exchange systems is much larger than it needs to be, and that significant financial savings and data interoperability benefits can be realized by creating large-scale information exchange services like the Pegasus Program information exchange service. These large-scale information services operate under the information utility model: they minimize the monthly operational and overhead costs shared by each agency, and continue without interruption when the inevitable organizational conflicts and disruptions emerge and threaten the exchange's governance model or financial viability.
Law enforcement information exchange also has learned much, and has much more to learn, from HIE. HIE has emerged with great force in a very short period of time, thanks to Bush administration leadership and the healthcare industry's impetus to create standards, policies, certification bodies, and all of the institutional infrastructure necessary to build an effective and ingrained culture and business practice of vibrant information exchange. In short, HIE proponents have built momentum and the ability to execute on that momentum. I am confident that HIE can and will become a reality, just as law enforcement information exchange has become a reality, through large-scale information exchange service providers.
Dennis KellyProject executivePegasus ProgramNew Orleans To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.