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The Opportunity for Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) to Untangle Health Records

Posted on February 6, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog by Monica Stout from MedicaSoft

As the government’s Meaningful Use incentive program accelerated the adoption of Electronic Health Records, it also increased the use of patient portals and PHRs to meet MU patient engagement measures. You see this today when you’re offered a portal login at your doctor appointments. Other encouraging trends developed around the same time:

  1. Studies proved that engaged patients tend to exhibit more positive health outcomes at lower costs.
  2. Interest increased among patient populations to be involved in their health and wellness, including a desire to see (and even contribute to) their electronic medical records.
  3. Technology innovations flourished to support health (wearables, health devices, applications, etc.).

Despite these trends and the relative success of MU-driven deployments, the patient portal and personal health record landscape leaves much to be desired for their primary users and audience – patients. Many of these tools were created simply to satisfy MU requirements and while they do this, they don’t completely tie together patients’ complex health histories, include data from multiple providers, or travel with the patient from visit to visit. Instead, patients have many different portals – a different one from every different provider. Who wants 10 different portals? Nobody has time for that!

Patients need help assembling a single view of their health records. HIEs are unique in that they work with many different health systems, hospitals, and providers in their regions. HIEs represent an opportunity to be a true integrator of health information between providers and their patients. This can be a regional solution now, and with efforts like the Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH), there is greater opportunity for HIEs to share data across state and regional lines, further expanding their reach and extending real benefits to patients who want their data in one place.

HIEs can leverage their unique position into a meaningful benefit for patient by first creating a single patient record or universal health record (UHR). This UHR or platform works seamlessly with PHRs. By making PHRs available to providers in their exchange, they can then share health data among every provider they link up with and the connections grow from there when you add in PCDH connections in other regions and states. Once there is a platform in place that is truly interoperable, sharing data between providers, patients can start using PHRs that have useful, relevant health data from all of their providers. HIEs can then start building in other capabilities like analytics, population health, care quality metrics, and more.

A patient’s medical journey involves multiple providers and different physical locations as their lives and health evolve. Their health information – in a single, universal health record – should evolve with them. HIEs can play a significant role in making that happen.

About Monica Stout
Monica is a HIT teleworker in Grand Rapids, Michigan by way of Washington, D.C., who has consulted at several government agencies, including the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She’s currently the Marketing Director at MedicaSoft. Monica can be found on Twitter @MI_turnaround or @MedicaSoftLLC.

About MedicaSoft
MedicaSoft  designs, develops, delivers, and maintains EHR, PHR, and UHR software solutions and HISP services for healthcare providers and patients around the world. MedicaSoft is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene. For more information, visit or connect with us on Twitter @MedicaSoftLLC, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

mHealth Trend Predictions For 2013

Posted on January 8, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

On the healthcare section of, I read an article about Health IT Predictions for 2013. Not all of them dealt with mHealth, but several did. I thought it would be interesting to post those few ideas here and then come back at the end of the year to see how true they were.

  • HIEs and body sensors will drive growth in analytics and data mining: First of all, I feel like I see a new body sensor on the market every day. Because of this, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see body sensors leading the way in mHealth, particularly when it comes to gathering information. I think that HIEs and body sensors are definitely becoming mainstream, and it won’t be long before we see them being used in doctor’s offices and patients every where
  • Patients will become more responsible for care: I think many patients are beginning to see the importance of being responsible for their care. I know I am. And with the help of mHealth, it is easier than ever. The article said that “mobile access to personal information will promote the migration to a more patient-centered model, encouraging individual engagement and responsibility in healthcare management.” I do think there will be a very apparent shift to this. No longer are the days where patients just totally rely on their doctors for information. I know I’m grateful for access to my personal health records — otherwise, information on my low vitamin d levels may have slipped through the cracks (my PCP’s office ‘misplaced’ the results and forgot to call me).
  • Consumers will dictate the path healthcare technology takes: mHealth is very much driven by the consumer, and the more vocal patients are about what they want, the more likely it will happen. Because of the growth of mHealth, more people might be willing to voice their opinion on what types of technologies and apps they want created. Consumers do have a lot power when it comes to the future of mHealth.
  • Cloud storage and mobile will explode: We have already see the growth and “explosion” of mHealth in the past year or so, and it’s only going to continue. I think 2013 is going to be a huge year for mHealth. I’m excited to see what will happen.

What are some other predictions for mHealth in the coming year? Are there any types of apps or technologies that you’d like to see developed? I think there will be even more doctors and physicians becoming involved in social media, and seeing the benefit in doing so, in addition to some of the things mentioned above.