Health care providers and consumers alike have benefited significantly from Health Information Exchange (HIE), a system and industry whose main goal is to improve health care quality. 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
When you cannot provide your medical history to your health care provider – for example, when you have an accident – information about your medications, medical condition, tests, etc. simply be search up on the system by your health care provider. This allows them to move very quickly as they draw up an emergency care plan for you.
If your area was affected by a disaster, such as hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions, your health information will remain safely stored in electronic form.
Less Errors and Improved Care
When your health information is accessible to your health care provider anytime and anywhere, they can make a better assessment of your health. That means they can provide most effective and safest treatment too.
For instance, if you can’t tell them what medications you’re taking at present, they can just look at your information and prescribe medicines that will not cause adverse reactions. This is actually a crucial benefit as any medical condition can turn for the worse when the patient is given the wrong drugs.
On the safety aspect, another way HIE helps is by preventing duplication of tests. especially x-rays and other lab procedures that come with radiation and other health risks. Obviously, this is also accompanied by the benefit of reducing your costs.
When health information is stored and used digitally, tracking access becomes a whole lot easier. In other words, it will be easier to track who looked at your records, when they looked at it, which specific parts were accessed, and the rest. When there is a need to obtain such details for legal purposes, everything becomes easier electronically as opposed to the traditional paper system.
HIE, as with any process or system, has its own controlled risks. Identity theft is one, but this can be well managed just by using the right system safeguards and precautions. Truth is, all electronic systems are dealing with this 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 perform checks and balances, which paper records cannot.
It’s good to ask your health care provider if they participate in HIE. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about protecting your health data.