Study: Data Used in HIE Can Identify Homeless Patients | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: Data Used in HIE Can Identify Homeless Patients

February 12, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City have used data from a health information exchange (HIE) to identify homeless patients, which could lead to improved care for this population.
The researchers examined Healthix, a New York-based HIE, to see if they could identify patterns that would indicate when someone was homeless. As the researchers noted, homeless patients experience worse outcomes (a 3-4 fold increase in mortality rate) and consume a disproportionate amount of healthcare resources (four times more than the average Medicaid patient) compared to the rest of the population. If homeless patients are to participate in care coordination efforts, they'll have to first be identified, a herculean change for many healthcare providers. 
The Mount Sinai researchers used the data to match the patients' record with their names and date of birth. From there, they assigned the patients to appropriate address categories based on their registration forms. They were able to discover that homeless patients visited, on average, 2.02 healthcare facilities compared to 1.59 from domiciled patients. A majority of homeless patients made a transition between a proxy and non-proxy address, some even making four transitions. 
The researchers believe other HIEs could make similar discoveries. "Hospitals and HIEs use algorithms that rely on patient demographic data, including address data, to match patient records," they write in the discussion. They believe if a patient registers with two different addresses, as the homeless tend to do, there are algorithms that could make this fact be known. 
Their research was published in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). 

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



Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Value-Based Care Shift Has Halted, Study Finds

A new study of 451 physicians and health plan executives suggests that progress toward value-based care has stalled. In fact, it may have even taken a step backward over the past year, the research revealed.