Marketplaces with high EHR vendor dominance see more HIE activity, study finds

Marketplace dynamics appear to have a significant role in health information exchange activity and data sharing. Research published in Health Affairs suggests hospitals are more likely to engage in HIE activity if using a marketplace's dominant EHR vendor.

Researchers analyzed national data to look at the relation between EHR vendor market dominance and hospital engagement in HIE activity in 2012 and 2013. They found hospitals using the dominant vendor's EHR engaged in an average 45 percent more HIE activity than hospitals not using the dominant vendor.

If the dominant vendor controlled a small portion of the market (20 percent), then hospitals using that vendor engaged in 59 percent more HIE activities than hospitals not using the dominant vendor.

The converse was also demonstrated to be true: When the dominant vendor controlled the vast majority of the market (80 percent), hospitals using that vendor engaged in just 25 percent more HIE activities than hospitals not using the dominant vendor.

The researchers suggest having multiple key vendors fosters HIE activity between hospitals.

"In markets with low vendor dominance, hospitals may engage in less HIE with hospitals using other vendors' systems, compared to markets with high vendor dominance, because of high costs and competitive barriers," the researchers conclude. "Policies designed to promote cross-vendor HIE may need to take local market competition into account."

More articles on HIEs:

How HIE policy affects volume of data exchange 
Perspective: EHRs, HIEs must collaborate with EMS for patient safety 
88% of providers say collaborative HIE initiatives improving payer-provider relations: 9 survey findings 

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