Study: Access to HIE Improves Emergency Care Quality, Saves Money

If emergency medicine physicians have access to patient data through a health information exchange, it could improve the quality of care and result in huge savings for the healthcare system, according to a study from emergency physicians at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Physicians presented the study at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians. From February 2012 through February 2013, researchers studied more than 325,000 patient encounters at 11 emergency departments across South Carolina. Within those patient encounters, 231 eligible clinicians logged onto the state HIE 7,525 times.

They found that having access to an HIE for emergency patients resulted in more than $1 million in savings, based on Medicare-allowable charges — or almost $2,000 in savings per ED patient. Savings mostly came from avoiding hospital admissions, radiology treatments and other services.

In addition, the report found 90 percent of participating clinicians said their quality of patient care improved, and they were able to save an average of 105 minutes per patient.

More Articles on Health Information Exchange:
Augusta Health to Launch Health Information Exchange
24 Statistics on HIE Adoption Among Hospitals (and the Moral Case for Data Exchange)
Carson Health Now Connected to Great Lakes HIE

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