The increasing importance of HIE alerts for care coordination and evidence that they work
Provider alerts triggered by health information exchange (HIE) data are becoming much more common, and soon the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will require them. Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health Director of Public Health Informatics Brian Dixon, Ph.D., MPA, will present on the impact of HIE-based event notifications on care coordination at the HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society) 2022 Global Conference.
Primary care providers often don't have access to information about care their patients receive outside of their office, especially if it is delivered in a different health system. It's possible patients could go to the hospital and be released, and their routine care providers would have no idea. That means it is up to the patient to reach out to their own doctor for the crucial follow-up care. According to a survey of U.S. primary care providers, physicians are notified less than half the time, potentially putting their patients' health at risk.
"Especially after a major event such as a hospitalization, patients need to discuss recovery plans, changes in medication and other important details with their primary care provider," said Dr. Dixon. "But often, as patients get back in their normal routine, they forget to follow up with their doctor, or they are feeling better and assume they don't need to, which is risky, especially for older adults."
Dr. Dixon recently conducted a study which determined that HIE-based alerts sent to primary care providers increased the primary care team's follow up rate in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system.
"The alerts prompted the care teams to be more proactive in closing the care coordination loop, and patients feel more valued when the provider reaches out to them," said Dr. Dixon.
Dr. Dixon will discuss his research as well as national and global trends in HIE-based alerts for care coordination during his presentation on the effectiveness of event notifications. Globally 14 nations, including the U.S., have identified care coordination as a major challenge in their health systems. The HIMSS 2022 Global Conference is March 14-18 in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Dixon's will present on March 16 at 4 p.m.