One Of Health Care’s Remaining Frontiers: Health Information Exchange
The Peoria Journal Star highlights a problem the health care industry has been slow to confront: Exchanging health information. "In the computer age, the ability to share health information would appear to be the least of the reform challenges facing the nation's medical industry. 'But different hospitals don't speak to each other. OSF and Methodist don't talk to one another,' said Dr. Stephen Hippler, a physician at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center who has been part of a group for the past two years that wants to change that. Hippler is not talking about phone calls between health professionals at the two hospitals but a computer link. 'We're trying to bridge an electronic gap. This is a problem not unique to Peoria, but a national problem. There has to be a way to share information,' he said."
The 2009 stimulus bill will direct billions of dollars to doctors and hospitals that adopt health information technology, and more to set up health information exchanges that would attempt to take on this problem (Tarter, 8/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.