EHRs, faxes, mail: How do hospitals share patient data?

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

More than three-quarters of hospitals (78 percent) use more than one electronic method to routinely send patient data to other organizations, according to an ONC report.

ONC reviewed data from the American Hospital Association's IT supplement of its 2017 survey for the report on interoperability. The AHA invited the CEOs of each U.S. hospital to participate in the survey, which ran from January to May of 2018. The response rate for non-federal acute-care hospitals was 64 percent.

ONC said its findings will help inform future policy efforts related to interoperability.

"The number of exchange methods hospitals need to ensure that they have information electronically available and subsequently used contributes to the complexity and costs of exchange," the report reads. "These complexities and increased costs are often cited as barriers to interoperability."

Here are the most common methods non-federal acute-care hospitals routinely use to send summary of care records to other organizations:

1. Health information service providers: 68 percent

2. Mail or fax: 66 percent

3. eFax using EHR: 63 percent

4. Provider portal for view-only access to EHR system: 58 percent

5. State, regional or local health information exchange organization: 55 percent

6. Interface connection between EHR systems (for example, an HL7 interface): 49 percent

6. Direct access to EHRs (for example, through remote or terminal access): 49 percent

8. Single EHR vendor network: 42 percent

9. eHealth Exchange: 29 percent

10. MultiEHR vendor network (for example, CommonWell): 24 percent

To view the ONC's report, click here.

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