Providers unhappy with HIE vendors' sharing capabilities

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As interoperability issues persist in the health information exchange market, respondents in a new KLAS survey report dissatisfaction with their vendors.

"Building and supporting interfaces continues to be a big challenge for all vendors," report author Mark Allphin said in an announcement. "Providers expect their health information exchange vendor to be an expert in moving data between multiple EMRs--regardless of the complexities or costs."

So far, that's not happening. The report looked at 11 vendors who hold 80 percent of the market share--Caradigm, Cerner, dbMotion, eClinicalWorks, Epic, ICA, Medicity, Orion Health, OptumInsight, RelayHealth and Siemens--through the eyes of 208 of their customers.  

After an early climate of trial and error, the HIE market is maturing and consolidating, the report says.

Satisfaction scores for most vendors have declined over the past year, though, with Cerner being the only one whose scores have improved. Epic, ICA, and MobileMD were rated as offering better connectivity overall, though few Epic clients report sharing data with non-Epic facilities.

The report notes the vendors improving in analytic reporting, patient portals, and physician engagement.

Michigan provides the most recent warning tale on the woes of incompatibility. The state's two largest health information exchanges--Great Lakes HIE in Okemos and Michigan Health Connect in Grand Rapids--have been using separate technology systems that aren't interoperable with one another. They're still trying to work that out.

Meanwhile, a coalition of 15 states, 37 technology vendors and 34 health information exchanges are working together to test for HIE interoperability in an attempt to close this market gap.

Meanwhile, the value of HIEs was demonstrated after Hurricane Sandy as some hospitals in the New York metropolitan area were forced to evacuate patients and send them to other nearby facilities. The shared information has been credited with making those transitions as seamless as possible.

To learn more:
- read the report abstract
- here's the announcement

Related Articles:
HIE critical to care continuity in natural disasters
Interoperability issues keep clinicians from sharing health info electronically
Trial and error marks much early HIE implementation
Multistate coalition to test for interoperability of HIEs
Statewide health information exchange efforts hit a snag in Michigan