Study Finds That HIEs Can Help Reduce In-Office Repetition of Services

June 28, 2017 Mike Pallagi

By giving a physician access to a patient’s up-to-date medical record, health information exchanges (HIEs) can help the industry reduce the in-office incidence of duplicate and superfluous tests while realizing significant cost savings, a recent study has suggested. The study was conducted by the State University of New York at Buffalo, the University of Connecticut, and The Brookings Institution, and its researchers evaluated data from HEALTHeLINK, a not-for-profit regional health information organization (RHIO). 

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Learn how Maine HealthInfoNet delivers a statewide HIE where healthcare providers can share patient information to deliver population health​. Download the case study now!

“Do Health Information Exchanges Deter Repetition of Medical Services?” offered a number of findings:

  • As a provider’s level of experience with an HIE’s platform increases, the provider’s tendency to repeat procedures decreases.
  • An HIE can make a “statistically significant impact on reducing repetitions in therapeutic procedures.”
  • In office settings, where “medical decisions are less time sensitive,” having access to the results of a patient’s most recent diagnostic procedures is often preferred by physicians, even if they have access to a patient’s older results, as the physicians believe this approach will “enhance the quality of their medical decisions.”
  • The “impact of HIE on repetitions is more efficient for those (HIE members) who do not participate” in a PQRS program.
  • By studying the impact of HIE on physician’s offices—rather than the usual ED settings—researchers discovered that “the difference in the setting in which HIE is being used could lead to different outcomes,” and they believe this should be of interest to policymakers.
  • HIEs do, in fact, effectively decrease healthcare costs and improve the quality of care.

Read the full study here.

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Learn how Maine HealthInfoNet delivers a statewide HIE where healthcare providers can share patient information to deliver population health​. Download the case study now!

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