Paper, Fax Still Prevalent in Data Exchange, Report Finds | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Paper, Fax Still Prevalent in Data Exchange, Report Finds

September 24, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

More than 70 percent of senior hospital IT executives reported that their organization was part of a health information exchange organization (HIO), although many facilities reported difficulties in exchanging patient information in robust, meaningful ways, according to a recent Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics report.

Approximately half of those respondents also reported improved access to patient information, although the benefit did not result in robust data sharing—49 percent of the respondents cited this as the primary challenge to sharing patient information. Respondents indicated sharing information outside of HIOs is constrained by budget limitations and staffing resources.

The report, which included responses from 157 executives, examined the current state of information exchange among U.S. hospitals, and explored the opportunities for improving the collection and exchange of patient data. Other key findings included:

  • 64 percent of the HIOs reported that sharing data with hospitals not participating in an HIO was conducted via fax
  • 63 percent of the same HIOs processed faxed information into an electronic format via scanning
  • 84 percent of respondents directly integrated their output/print environment with their EMR/HIS system
  • 42 percent of respondents characterized their output/print environment as “high effort”

In most instances, faxing was only one part of a broader strategy for sharing patient information. Furthermore, respondents were concerned with strategies that relied heavily on faxing, with 22 percent indicating that meaningful use would have a high impact on this mode of HIE.

“Based on high participation numbers, hospitals clearly understand the value of electronic sharing of health-related information among organizations and the important role it can play in improving the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care,” Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “But meaningful engagement between healthcare organizations and easy ways to share patient information, both in paper and electronic formats, still remain a challenge. We hope this new report will shed light on those issues and help IT professionals integrate their HIE strategies with their output/print environments.”

Topics

News

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.

Humana Develops Medication Management Tool

A new tool developed by Humana enables the company’s members to keep a list of their medications in one place.

Four Hospitals Piloting OurNotes Initiative in 2018

Beginning in January, four academic hospitals—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Washington in Seattle, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and University of Colorado in Boulder—will begin piloting a new digital tool called OurNotes that enables patients to contribute to their clinical notes.