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What Are the Benefits of Health Information Exchange (HIE)?

Health Information Exchange, a process and industry aimed at improving health care quality, has offered substantial benefits to both health care providers and consumers. To maximize its use and minimize any associated risks, a good knowledge of HIE is required.

Here are the most common scenarios where HIE proves most beneficial:

Emergencies Arising from Accidents

When you cannot provide your medical history to your health care provider – for example, when you have an accident – information about your medications, medical condition, tests, etc. simply be search up on the system by your health care provider. This makes it easier for them to create an emergency care plan for you.


Even if your area is devastated by a natural disaster of any kind, your health information will still be safe while being stored electronically.

Better Care Due to Reduced Errors

By giving your health care provider anytime-anywhere access to your health information, they will be able to understand your health condition better. This helps them provide the safest and most effective treatment as well.

For instance, if you can’t tell them what medications you’re taking at present, they can just look at your information and prescribe medicines that will not cause adverse reactions. This is actually a vital benefit as a medical condition can be aggravated by the wrong drugs.

Another way HIE helps improve health care is by reducing the chances of duplicate tests, especially x-rays, which can be harmful because of the radiation, and other lab procedures that have risky side effects. Of course, this also means lessening your costs.


When your health information is stored and used electronically, knowing who has or had access to it becomes easier. In short, you would easily know who looked up your records, when, what type of information was accessed, and the like. When you need these details for any legal purpose, the process because easier when done electronically than with old-fashioned paper files.

HIE, as with any process or system, has its own controlled risks. One is identity theft, but this can be effectively addressed with the right system precautions and safeguards. In fact, all electronic systems are facing the same risk.

Another risk is feeding inaccurate information into the system, which again is easily addressed by assigning dependable stuff for this role. The risk is present with paper files as well, but certainly lower with HIE. HIE can also perform checks and balances, which paper records cannot.

Be sure to ask your health care provider if they implement HIE. If you have questions regarding the protection of your health data, approach your doctor.

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