Hospitals that share data within their organization less likely to exchange data with other facilities

Hospitals that have adopted information exchange practices within their organizations are less likely to share information with outside healthcare facilities, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

For the study, researchers analyzed data exchange capabilities among hospitals included in the 2010-2014 American Hospital Association's annual health IT survey. Overall, researchers noted hospitals' ability to share information increased over time. However, adoption of data-sharing practices between organizations was slower than adoption of these practices within the same organization.

On average, the researchers found hospitals could share 4.6 types of information within the same organization and 2.7 types of information between different organizations.

"Hospitals are prioritizing within-organizational information exchange over exchange between different organizations," the study authors concluded. "If increasing inter-system exchanges is a desired goal, current market incentives and government policies may be insufficient to overcome hospitals' motivations for pursuing an intra-system-information-exchange-first strategy."

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