Survey: Exchanges of Health Information rises to 57 Communities

A survey from the nonprofit eHealth Initiative explained that fifty-seven community-based health information exchanges are operating, up from 42 last year. To exchange medical information electronically HIEs, the networks and systems, are created. The systems are expected to grow in scope under incentives included in the economic stimulus law. Of the 57 community HIEs operating, 26 reported cost savings based on reduced staff time spent handling lab results, 24 trimmed costs for administration and filing, 17 reduced redundant testing, 11 reported lower costs for chronic-care patients, and 10 experienced reduced medical errors. The survey was released by the organization on July 22.

The most popular types of data handled by the exchanges are lab results, 49 exchanges; medication data and prescriptions, 48; outpatient labs, 45; outpatient episodes, 43; radiology results, 39; and emergency department episodes, 36. $350 million in the economic stimulus law to develop HIEs, were provided by the Congress, including the Nationwide Health Information Network. Many of the community-based exchanges are hoping to receive some federal support for their efforts, told eHealth Initiative officials.

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