Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange

In recent years, there has been increased focus on using electronic health information to improve health care quality and contain costs at the national, state, regional and local levels. The Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange (HIE) program focuses on advancing the use of technology for collection, dissemination and exchange of structured and formatted health data by Medicaid providers to improve health outcomes for clients.

HIE in Texas

HIE is the process of electronically moving health information among different health care information systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged. The goal of HIE is to facilitate access and retrieval of clinical data to provide safer and more timely, efficient, effective and equitable patient-centered care. HIE is also useful to public health authorities to assist in analyses of population health.

HIE organizations must have the capability to employ nationally recognized standards to enable interoperability, security, confidentiality and to ensure authorization of those who access the information.

Why HIE is Important

The ability to exchange health information electronically is foundational to improving health care quality and safety. HIE can provide:

  • The connecting point for an organized, standardized process of data exchange across statewide, regional and local initiatives.
  • The means to reduce duplication of services (resulting in lower health care costs).
  • The means to reduce operational costs by automating many administrative tasks.
  • Governance and management of the data exchange process.

Benefits of HIE

  • Acts as a tool to improve quality and coordination of patient care
  • Provides a basic level of interoperability among electronic health records maintained by physicians, hospitals and organizations
  • Encourages consumer education and patients' involvement in their own health care
  • Improves efficiency by reducing paperwork
  • Enhances public health reporting and monitoring
  • Allows for feedback between health-related research and practice
  • Provides technical infrastructure to use and meet requirements of national and state-level initiatives