Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ruminating on HIE (Health Information Exchange)

The healthit.gov site gives a very understanding on HIE. This is not to be confused with HIX (Health Insurance Exchange). Snippet from the site:

The term "health information exchange" (HIE) actually encompasses two related concepts: 
Verb: The electronic sharing of health-related information among organizations 
Noun: An organization that provides services to enable the electronic sharing of health-related information

Today, most organizations are leveraging HL7 as the standard for HIE. HL7 v3 is XML based, where as the prominent HL7 v2.0 is ASCII text based.  Another standard that is used in HIE is CCR (Continuity of Care Record).

Blue Button is another attempt in simplifying HIE. Providers and Health Plans participating in the Blue Button initiative would allow you to download all your health records as a plain text file from their site.  The image below from www.healthit.gov gives you a good idea on the advantages of having access to your health record.

 
A new initiative called 'Blue Button+' would allow information to be downloaded as a XML (HL7 based) and enable machine to machine exchange of health information. 

HL7 FHIR– Fast Health Interoperable Resources is an interesting initiative that uses REST principles for HIE.