Close your eyes and imagine with me a healthcare delivery continuum in which the clinical data collected at every patient-provider interaction is routinely available to the patient and to all relevant care team members. Further, what if patient data were securely sent and received by each provider as the patient requires care? Finally, what if we had a mutual understanding of the meaning of the data and could consume external patient information into our EHR to re-use within our care setting and send out again as needed to support all transitions of care?
What would it take to realize this scenario? First, we need a basic common glossary of terms. This may seem rather simplistic, but how often have you engaged in a discussion on a subject only to realize that each participant defined the vocabulary needed to discuss the subject differently? Members of the HIMSS HIE inPractice Task Force collaborated to create the “Introductory Glossary and Brochure: Health Information Exchange” to give all readers a basic definition of common terms associated with data exchange. Patients, providers, government, and vendors can reference these definitions to establish understating across all individuals for improved collaboration and outcomes.
Going beyond a glossary of terms, our task force identified questions that patients might consider asking their provider about when it comes to how their data is being used, how it is shared, and who it is shared with. We encourage you to check out the Introductory Glossary and Brochure located within the Introduction to HIE Concepts page of the HIMSS HIE Toolkit.
Looking for more information related to health information exchange and interoperability? Check out these helpful HIMSS resources!