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Health Information Exchange: Definition and Components


The phenomenon of Health Information Exchange (HIE) is typically rendered as the process of gathering, processing, and distributing health-related data by the corresponding facilities within a specific community (Hoyt & Yoshihashi, 2014). To put it simply, HIE implies the design of a proper data management strategy in the healthcare setting by taking the specifics of the staff’s work into account and creating the environment, in which the patients’ personal data could be safe.

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The definition provided above encompasses several essential elements, including the healthcare-related, the societal, and the technological ones. For instance, the very concept of HIE implies raising awareness among the target audience. Indeed, most people are surprisingly ignorant about a range of healthcare issues (Koh, Brach, Harris, Parchman, 2013). Therefore, shedding light on some of the issues is crucial to the wellbeing of the patients. Similarly, the definition above renders the problem of introducing modern technology in the healthcare environment. Last but definitely not least, the concept of communication between the patient and the therapist can be traced in the definition.

Professional Experiences

Personally, I would add that the issue of information exchange I the healthcare environment needs the introduction of various IT-related tools to improve the current data management. The recent attack on the servers of the organization that I used to work for exposed a large number of people to the threat of their personal data being stolen. The accident in question points clearly to the need to promote an active integration of information technology into the specified setting.

Moreover, the experience described above shows that, unless instructed on the proper use of the corresponding IT tools and basic information management strategies, people will continue making the same mistakes and exposing patients to danger no matter how well the information management approach has been planned. Therefore, active training and the provision of opportunities to learn to use online databases is highly required for the hospital staff (Federal health IT strategic plan 2015–2020, n. d.).

Catalysts of HIE

Defining the tools that promote HSE, one must mention encouraging data management and boosting competition among the members of the organization (Ross et al., 2013). The specified approach is likely to spur productivity among the target participants and empower them for excelling in their field of expertise. The use of preexistent infrastructure as the foundation for building a brand-new strategy should also be viewed as an important opportunity.

More importantly, it is essential that the staff should become a part of the so-called digital culture (Bonilla et al., 2015). In other words, employees must acquire knowledge regarding the use of technology and train the newly acquired skills so that the process of data management could be improved significantly and made safer and more secure.

Impact on Health, Nursing Informatics, and Clinical Practice

Seeing that the promotion of HIE in the healthcare setting is likely to improve the quality of the communication process, it will be sensible to suppose that it will also have a significant effect on the health rates among the patients. As soon as the tool for delivering information in a manner as accurate as possible is provided, health issues will be diagnosed more precisely, and the recovery process will occur at a much faster pace. Similarly, the innovation under analysis is likely to have a massive effect on the promotion of new practices in nursing informatics and clinical practice (Connecting health and care for the nation: A shared nationwide interoperability roadmap, n. d.).

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Reference List

Bonilla, C., Brauer, P., Royall, D., Keller, H., Hanning, R. M., & DiCenso, A. (2015). Use of electronic dietary assessment tools in primary care: an interdisciplinary perspective. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 15(1), 1-14. doi:10.1186/s12911-015-0138-6.

Connecting health and care for the nation: A shared nationwide interoperability roadmap. (n. d.). Web.

Hoyt, R. E., & Yoshihashi, A. K. (2014). Health informatics: Practical guide for healthcare and information technology professionals (6th ed.). New York, NY:

Federal health IT strategic plan 2015–2020. (n. d.). Web.

Koh, H. K., Brach, C., Harris, L. M., Parchman, M. L. (2013). A proposed ‘health literate care model’ would constitute a systems approach to improving patients’ engagement in care. Health Affairs, 32(2), 357-367.

Ross, S. E., Radcliff, T. A., LeBlanc, W. G., Dickinson, L. M., Libby, A. M., & Nease, D. E., Jr. (2013). Effects of health information exchange adoption on ambulatory testing rates. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(6), 1137-1142. Web.

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