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Electronic Exchange of Information


Innovative technologies have altered the landscape of healthcare significantly, leading to alterations in the management of patients’ data and needs. The creation of the Health Information Exchange (HIE) has affected the healthcare environment especially strongly since it has allowed storing patients’ data so that it could be shared and accessed accordingly by respective healthcare providers and nurses, while remaining closed for third parties. However, as meaningful and efficient as HIE is, it still poses multiple challenges and represents a complex system with positive and negative aspects. Although HIE has provided greater safety and better opportunities for storing it effectively, the lack of access to the specified information for patients remains one of the major problems to be addressed.

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The HIE framework has allowed making several important improvements to the existing healthcare landscape, yet it has also led to the development of certain challenges. For instance, the benefits of the HIE system include the opportunity to receive accurate and relevant information about patients. Indeed, HIE provides updated data on patients’ well-being and changes in their responses to specific stimuli, which allows for an accurate representation of their medical history (Bryant and Stratton College, 2019). However, the specified benefit comes at the price of spending a significant amount of money on the required equipment and tools for its maintenance, which clearly represents a barrier to effective care. Since most financial resources are allocated to sustain the HIE system, the rest of the money may not be enough for providing high-quality services for diagnosing and treating diseases in patients.

The increase in data security is another strength that the existing HIE framework can boast. Patients’ personal information and medical history are locked in safety form any third party, with the access to patients’ information being strictly controlled. However, the described measure also implies that the process of transferring information from one healthcare staff member to another may become unnecessarily complicated (Bryant and Stratton College, 2019). In addition, a patient may struggle to contain their personal data in case they want to change therapists or make any other alterations to the current course of treatment.

Finally, the fact that the HIE system can be customized to aggregate data either for an individual or community-based analysis should be listed as an obvious benefit. The flexibility in the arrangement and storage of data that HIE provides is truly impressive since the system is cloud-based and, thus, has an increased capacity. However, at the same time, the HIE system lacks the characteristics that would make it easier for patents to navigate ad understand (Bryant and Stratton College, 2019). As a result, the process of retrieving one’s personal health-related information becomes unnecessarily convoluted, which reduces the efficacy of healthcare services provided to patients.


Although HIE has been affecting the healthcare industry positively by offering a tool for storing patients’ information safely, it has been failing in offering the consistent access to it for patients, hence the necessity to reconfigure the current framework for HIE. In addition, several other problems such as high-cost maintenance and problems providing access to information to patients should be outlined as the key barriers to successful HIE, suggesting that the problem needs to be handled on several levels. Namely, the administrative stage of HIE improvement implies that patients need better access to their personal health data. In addition, the communication aspect of HIE requires changes so that the conversation between a patient and a nurse could be more open and consistent.


Bryant and Stratton College. (2019). The exchange of health information. Retrieved from Bryant and Stratton College, HTHS110 website.

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