ANN ARBOR, MI, November 15, 2011 – To help chief information officers of healthcare organizations make complex decisions involving how to achieve health information exchange with other providers, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the eHealth Initiative (eHI) today released, The HIE Guide for CIOs.

As healthcare organizations aim to demonstrate the meaningful use of electronic health records in Stage 1 of the HITECH program, one of the core objectives that a provider must meet in order to qualify for stimulus funding is to have the capability to “exchange clinical information electronically with other providers and patient-authorized entities.” Providers only have to test data exchange in Stage 1, but federal officials have indicated that Stages 2 and 3 will have many more requirements that will rely on achieving robust HIE.

The Web-based guide offers practical assistance for information technology executives pertaining to health information exchange. It includes chapters on:
• Assessing the local landscape for HIE
• Considerations in forming an Enterprise Health Information Organization
• Selecting an external Health Information Organization
• Technical requirements for HIE
• Assessing service offerings
• Ensuring privacy and confidentiality
• National HIE initiatives

“How health information exchange is achieved over the next few years is expected to change and evolve,” said Richard Correll, President and CEO of CHIME. “This guide is intended to be a starting point for identifying key issues for healthcare executives that are developing a ground-level understanding of how to accomplish health information exchange. As HIE grows and evolves in the coming months, this guide will be further refined to provide ongoing guidance on HIE decisions.”

“As we have tracked HIE initiatives over the past several years, we have learned that data exchange involves a lot of moving pieces,” said Jennifer Covich, executive director of Washington-based eHI. “Healthcare IT executives can use the HIE Guide for CIOs to help think through the process of getting involved in HIE.”

Content for the HIE Guide was developed by conducting research with CHIME’s CIO members who have had practical experience with health information exchange, as well as drawing upon the resources of eHI, particularly its HIE Toolkit, which provides in-depth information related to the development of health information organizations.

“The HIE Guide focuses on actionable information that healthcare IT executives need to know in order to make wise decisions to ensure successful health information exchange for their organization,” said George Hickman, vice president and CIO at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center, one of the lead reviewers of the publication. “These decisions must match an organization’s strategy, and health IT executives need a resource like this to walk them through the important factors they need to consider in order to make good HIE decisions.”

The HIE Guide for CIOs is available for free both here and here.