Health information exchange (HIE) systems are a key technological driver of new healthcare models and will help healthcare be more affordable, accountable and integrated, according to a new report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan. HIE refers to the digitization of health records to create a central data repository that will ensure continuity of care, data legacy and data-driven health analytics.
Frost & Sullivan believes that ongoing and imminent changes to regulatory and legislative policies pertaining to healthcare delivery, such as incentivizing electronic information sharing and mandating meaningful use of patient health data, will encourage the adoption of information systems like HIE in many countries.
“These changes are likely to have far-reaching consequences for healthcare delivery, particularly in predictive diagnosis and population health management,” said Technical Insights Research Analyst Bhargav Rajan. “Instead of functioning merely as workflow aids, information systems are likely to transform the very nature of healthcare planning and delivery, ushering in predictive analytics and coordinated care management.”
There still are concerns, however, which may hinder HIE integration, the report says. One challenge to the adoption of technological frameworks is the fragmentation of the healthcare market in several countries, causing interoperability issues. Healthcare providers are also unwilling to make the high initial investment required for these systems.
In order to allay client concerns about interoperability and compatibility, the report revealed that technology providers must design systems-agnostic solutions that can be used across technology platforms. The research firm stressed that healthcare providers must also gauge and understand the value information systems bring to their practice in effecting affordable, quality service in line with patient needs.
“A fully functional, integrated healthcare system is a product of innovations in technology, management, and implementation,” noted Rajan. “Of these, a solid technological infrastructure, led by dynamic and interactive information systems, will be key in establishing home and integrated care systems.”