Doing Systems The Right Way

What Are the Benefits of Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a system and industry that has benefited both health care providers and consumers significantly in terms of improving health care. To understand how its uses can be maximized and its risked minimized, it is important to have a full understanding of HIE.

Here are the most common situations where HIE can be most beneficial:

Emergencies Arising from Accidents

When you cannot provide your medical history to your health care provider – for example, when you have an accident – information about your medications, medical condition, tests, etc. simply be search up on the system by your health care provider. As a result, they can quickly come up with an emergency care plan for you.


Even if your area is devastated by a natural disaster of any kind, your health information will still be safe while being stored electronically.

Better Care Due to Reduced Errors

By giving your health care provider anytime-anywhere access to your health information, they will be able to understand your health condition better. That also means they will be able to give you the best treatment.

For example, if you are unable to tell them what medicines you’re currently taking, HIE can provide such information to your health care provider so they can prescribe medicines that will not cause adverse reactions. This is actually a crucial benefit as any medical condition can turn for the worse when the patient is given the wrong drugs.

On the safety aspect, another way HIE helps is by preventing duplication of tests. especially x-rays and other lab procedures that come with radiation and other health risks. Of course, this also means lessening your costs.


When your health information is stored and used electronically, knowing who has or had access to it becomes easier. In short, you would easily know who looked up your records, when, what type of information was accessed, and the like. When there is a need to obtain such details for legal purposes, everything becomes easier electronically as opposed to the traditional paper system.

Just like any system or process, HIE is associated with a number of controlled risks. An example is identity theft, although this can be managed by implementing the right precautions and safeguards to the system. In fact, all electronic systems have this risk.

Another risk is feeding inaccurate information into the system, which again is easily addressed by assigning dependable stuff for this role. Paper files have the same risk, it is definitely lower with electronic files. HIE can also provide checks and balances which are impossible with paper records.

Be sure to ask your health care provider if they implement HIE. If you have questions about your health data protection, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor.

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