Image: A graphic portraying the value of Healthcare Information Exchanges (HIE) (Photo courtesy of HIMSS).
The results of a US study have shown that investing in healthcare Information Technology (IT) could lead to healthcare spending reductions in the billions of dollars, in the US alone.
According to the researchers, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), which enable healthcare providers and hospitals to exchange and share medical data, are now showing their promised value to the healthcare systems.
The study was carried out by IT researchers at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business (Notre Dame, IN, USA), and at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF; San Francisco, CA, USA), and was published in April 16, 2017, in the SSRN eLibrary.
The researchers used data from 2003 to 2009, and compared average spending in health care markets with and without operational HIEs. They then analyzed the data they collected using a number of econometric metrics such as patient demographics, and economic factors. Hospitals use HIEs to efficiently exchange medical data, avoiding manual mailing, photocopying, and faxing of medical records. The researchers showed massive cost savings when HIEs were implemented in regional markets, leading to planning for nation-wide implementations in the US.
IT professor, Corey Angst, at the University of Notre Dame, said, "We realize the HIE model is not static -- new vendor-driven models are emerging as market dynamics change. What we show is that the ability to electronically exchange medical data can result in savings in the overall health system, which should encourage new models of exchange.
University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
University of California San Francisco