Regenstrief Study to Evaluate HIE Use and Impact on Patient Outcomes in the ED | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Regenstrief Study to Evaluate HIE Use and Impact on Patient Outcomes in the ED

January 5, 2018
by Heather Landi
| Reprints

Are patients less likely to be hospitalized if emergency departments have access to their complete medical record via health information exchange?

Scientists at the Indianapolis, Ind.-based Regenstrief Institute are conducting the first study of health information exchange (HIE) use over multiple years to evaluate whether it improves patient outcomes in emergency departments. The research will measure actual use of health information exchange over time, across multiple institutions, to generate evidence of the value and benefit of health information exchange in the delivery of emergency care. The research is supported by a two-year award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

“Findings from our new study could serve as a report card on potential benefits of HIE and as a template for HIEs as they mature,” Regenstrief Institute investigator Brian E. Dixon, Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, the principal investigator of the new study, said in a statement.

Health information exchange is more frequently used in emergency settings than anywhere else in the health care system. Yet little research has been done on its long-term use — or its impact on patient care — in the emergency setting, where visits are unplanned, urgent and acute, and patient health information is not available beforehand to care providers, according to the Regenstrief researchers.

“While researchers at Regenstrief and elsewhere have previously investigated whether the availability of information from health information exchange reduces costs by decreasing duplicate testing and unneeded imaging studies, there is a dearth of knowledge about whether providers’ use of health information exchange in the emergency department leads to actual improvements in patient outcomes. And there is limited existing information on which personnel in an emergency department use health information exchange and why those providers choose to do so,” Regenstrief researchers stated.

The Regenstrief investigators will review usage logs from the Indiana Network for Patient Care, one of the largest interorganizational clinical data repositories in the country, to determine how frequently information from the health information exchange was used in the emergency department, for what kinds of patients, by what types of health care providers and under what conditions it was most useful. They will also determine which sections of patient medical records — for example, laboratory results, imaging studies, medication list or medical history — were accessed. In addition, they will review the outcome of the visit to determine whether the patient was admitted to the hospital.

“In today’s world, surrounded by technology and the promise of self-driving cars, it is hard to believe that clinical data is still hard to come by,” Regenstrief Institute investigator J.T. Finnell, M.D., an Indiana University School of Medicine associate professor of emergency medicine, said in a statement. “It is a common struggle to gather and mine the data to make informed decisions regarding patient care. Having access to the entire patient record only makes sense, and it’s aligned with existing patient expectations.”

Finnell is a co-investigator on the AHRQ-supported project. Other co-investigators are Joshua Vest, Ph.D. of the Fairbanks School of Public Health and Saurabh Rahurkar, DrPH of the Regenstrief Institute.

The Indiana Network for Patient Care was developed by the Regenstrief Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and is now operated by the Indiana Heath Information Exchange.


Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Geisinger National Precision Health Hires Illumina Exec to Lead Business Development

Integrated health system Geisinger has hired a high-profile genetic counselor to head up business development for Geisinger National Precision Health, which was created to extend the Geisinger model on the national scene.

$30M VC Fund Launched to Spur Innovation in Cardiovascular Care

The American Heart Association, together with Philips and UPMC, has announced the launch of Cardeation Capital, a $30 million collaborative venture capital fund designed to spur healthcare innovation in heart disease and stroke care.

Epic Wins Labor Dispute in Closely Divided Supreme Court Decision

Epic Systems Corporation won a major labor-law ruling in the Supreme Court on Monday, centering around the extent of corporations’ right to force employees to sign arbitration agreements, and with a 5-4 ruling in its favor

Survey: Two-Thirds of Physician Practices Seeking Out Value-Based Care Consulting Firms

Most physician organizations are not prepared for the move to value-based care, and 95 percent CIOs of group practices and large clinics state they do not have the information technology or staff in-house needed to transform value-based care end-to-end, according to a recent Black Book Market Research.

Cumberland Consulting Buys LinkEHR, Provider of Epic Help Desk Services

Cumberland Consulting Group, a healthcare consulting and services firm, has acquired LinkEHR, which provides remote application support, including Epic help desk services.

Population Health Tool that Provides City-Level Data Expands to 500 Cities

A data visualization tool that helps city officials understand the health status of their population, called the City Health Dashboard, has now expanded to 500 of the largest cities in the U.S., enabling local leaders to identify and take action around the most pressing health needs in their cities and communities.