Funding, interoperability standards and provider adoption are among the biggest obstacles facing widespread health information exchange, according to survey results (PDF) released by the Washington-based National eHealth Collaborative.
Costs, standards challenge info exchange
NeHC is a public-private partnership established with funds from HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to bolster information-exchange efforts. Over a five-day period earlier this month, NeHC conducted an online survey of 7,000 stakeholders, 185 of whom completed the questionnaire.
Respondents ranked improved care coordination, better availability of data and increased efficiency as some of the top benefits of health information exchange. And more than three-quarters said consumer engagement was "very important" to the process of transforming the healthcare system. They differed, however, in whether they defined consumer engagement by ease of communication with providers, use of tools and resources, or other criteria.
"It is both interesting and enlightening to understand what stakeholders are thinking related to core strategic priorities for NeHC, including education, HIE and consumer engagement," NeHC CEO Kate Berry said in a news release. "This type of information can help inform our programs to ensure we emphasize the areas of greatest need to encourage progress toward widespread deployment of HIT and HIE to improve patient care."
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