The 5th Annual Surfey of HIE at State and Local Levels is out and the 130 community-based initiatives in 48 states are reporting a significant impact by fully operationa initiatives on improved healthcare delivery and efficiency.
The key findings from the 2008 survey are as follows:
- A majority (69%) of the fully operational exchange efforts (29/42) report reductions in health care costs. These respondents say health information exchange allows them to:
- Decrease dollars spent on redundant tests
- Reduce the number of patient admissions to hospitals for medication errors, allergies or interactions
- Decrease the cost of care for chronically ill patients
- Reduce staff time spent on administration
- About half (52%) of fully operational exchange efforts (22/42) report positive impacts on health care delivery, including:
- A decrease in prescribing errors
- Improved access to test results
- Improved compliance with chronic care and prevention guidelines
- Better care outcomes for patients
- Increased recognition of disease outbreaks
- Improved quality of practice life
- Reductions in malpractice insurance costs
- In addition to improving care delivery, tackling population health challenges continues to be a goal of many operational health information exchange efforts with ten offering disease or chronic care management services, eight offering quality improvement reporting for clinicians, six offering public health reporting, and five offering quality improvement reporting for purchasers or payers.
- For the first time, a majority (69%) of the fully operational respondents (29/42), report a positive financial return on their investment (ROI) for their participating stakeholders, including health plans, hospitals, laboratories, and physician practices. In 2007, just ten (31%) reported a positive ROI.
Those of us who have been following the development of these initiatives for the last several years have known about these possibilities. It is nice to now have evidence that these community collaboratives are making a difference and beginning to see a return on their investement. I believe that if community leaders step back just a little more and look at a bigger picture, they will find even more contributions to their ROI and improved quality and safety. (See my previous post on the Softer Side of ROI.)
In my own organization, we are completing the installation of our PACS system and look forward to realizing our ROI projections. We are moving forward as well!