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Ways of Maintaining Health Information Exchange.

Health Information Exchange is gaining popularity among health care providers. Federal government’s support to HIE aimed at improving the safety and quality of health care could be one of the factors causing its increased popularity. The health care providers may also find HIE more effective than the use of paper work. Some of the patient’s medical information is very confidential and storing it on paper can affect its confidentiality. All the players in the medical field from the patients to the health services providers and the government benefit from health information exchange systems but they have to deal with the difficult task of sustaining it.

Reducing the complexity of health information systems makes it easier to maintain them. Health information exchange system should not be overstretched but it should be allowed to grow slowly with time. Health information systems will collapse before reaching their full potential when forced to do a lot of functions in a short span. Incorporating few functions in a health information exchange and later monitoring it before adding other functions will ensure that it serves you for long. The users of the system can determine whether to add some functions to it or not after monitoring it.

Health information exchange should have a proper forecast of the cost of operating it as well as developing it. Operating a heath information exchange should not be expensive to the point of exceeding the revenues collected. Straining to develop a health information exchange system that is features intensive from the start can put a financial strain to the developing facility making the system more difficult to implement. It is therefore important to keep the system simple to keep the maintenance cost low.

Keeping the patient’s privacy into consideration will ensure the sustainability of the health information exchange system. A service provide can lose public’s trust if the facility experiences a breach in the patients’ health information. The leaks in health information can bring losses to facilities if patients choose to take legal action. It is very important to give security in HIE a first priority to avoid its collapse due to loss of important information or its exposure to the general public.

Another way of ensuring that HIE system will survive for long is by starting with a federated model. HIE system can use the federated model as its foundation when the time to implement it comes. Keeping startup cost down is easier with the model because it can be easily and simply maintained. Sustainability of health information exchange system is higher in facilities that have used the federated model first.

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