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Assessing the Benefits of Integrating Health Information Exchange Services into the Medical Practices’ Workflow

Abstract

To examine whether integration of Health Information Exchange (HIE) services into office workflow would have an impact on ED visits and unplanned 30-day readmission amongst the patients who were treated at the medical practice. We designed and implemented a training program at a medical practice in Western New York over a period of three months between November 2016 and January 2017. During the program, a group of health IT professionals and clinical specialists trained the staff on how to appropriately use and efficiently integrate the HIE services in their workflow. We measured the effectiveness of the program using both qualitative and quantitative methods. We employed an Interrupted Time Series (ITS) analysis to examine the effectiveness of the program on reducing the number of patients who experience an ED visit or an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of initial discharge. After the implementation of the training program, the rate of unplanned hospital readmissions reduced by 2.7 patients per 1000 members per month and the rate of ED visits reduced by 6.3 patients per 1000 members per month. The results indicate that educating medical practices on how to efficiently utilize the HIE services, and especially the notification systems will significantly reduce the rate of ED utilization and unplanned 30-day hospital readmissions amongst the patients of medical practices.

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Correspondence to Kim Fecher.

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Fecher, K., McCarthy, L., Porreca, D.E. et al. Assessing the Benefits of Integrating Health Information Exchange Services into the Medical Practices’ Workflow. Inf Syst Front 23, 599–605 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10796-019-09979-x

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Keywords

  • Health Information Exchange
  • Interoperability