ONC: 5 technical barriers to integrating public health agencies into HIEs

There are five key technical barriers to integrating public health agencies into regional health information exchanges, according to a September ONC report.

Local public health agencies collect and house medical information for a range of purposes, such as disease surveillance systems. Healthcare providers transmit this information to public health information systems through multiple routes, including independent connections to individual systems, hospital networks and regional HIEs.

Directly integrating public health information systems into regional HIEs would increase the robustness and timeliness of healthcare data, according to the ONC. To investigate challenges associated with this type of data sharing, the ONC engaged Clinovations Government + Health to assess how 16 jurisdictions use existing HIEs to exchange information with healthcare providers.

Here are five technical barriers to public health and HIE integration identified in the report.

1. Public health standards might not specify protocols for transporting information to agencies from HIEs, leaving legacy transport methods in place

2. Gaps exist in the adoption of new and current transport standards by providers and public health organizations

3. Standards that support data exchange vary across domains, which inhibits use by public health agencies

4. There's variation in local vocabulary codes for public health information

5. Overall inconsistent data quality

Click here to view the full report.

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