According to a 2018 Health Care Consumer Survey by
Deloitte, consumers are more likely to share data and
build trust with their providers when the consumers own
their health data. However, it isn’t always clear who owns
the data. The survey also noted that stronger partnerships
between physicians and health systems may increase the
level of trust among these consumers and stakeholders. The
technology and information should be easy to access and
easy to understand. Many healthcare organizations are trying to accomplish this by using a patient portal that is connected with EHR vendor products.
But these systems are often isolated from each other.
There also are limitations as to what data can be included
in the patient portal, which may provide an incomplete
summary of their health story. These patient portals are
meant to provide the patient with their health data and are
not always equipped to coordinate the sharing of patient
data between providers. These disjointed efforts have created an opportunity for third-party technology companies
to partner with consumers and healthcare organizations
using standards based on fast healthcare interoperability
In an effort to promote interoperability, FHIR standardizes
data and recreates it in a readable format. FHIR application
programming interfaces (APIs) provide exchange capabilities
once the data have been optimized for sharing. Depending on
the sensitivity of the data, FHIR relies on numerous security
measures to keep patient data secure, including authentication and access control. Since EHRs were not widely in place
when HIPAA was first introduced in 1996, HIPAA Privacy and
Security Rules have been adapted over the years to allow for
the electronic exchange of information.
Care integration among multiple providers and locations
can be achieved using efficient information exchange that is
accessible and secure. HIM professionals can help by advocating to other providers and consumers about the numerous
benefits of HIE technology while building trust in the confidentiality safeguards.
One way to do this is through community outreach, using
targeted education about the provider-patient relationship
and the shared ownership of healthcare information. With
additional work and education the healthcare industry could
make some headway toward making Verma’s fax-free future
a reality. ¢
1. Butler, Mary. “CMS: Providers Should Get Rid of Fax
Machines by 2020.” Journal of AHIMA. August 9, 2018.
2. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. “Individu-
als Perceptions of the Privacy and Security of Medical Re-
cords and Health Information Exchange.” 2018.ht tps://
3. Betts, David and Leslie Korenda. “Inside the patient jour-
ney: Three key touch points for consumer engagement
strategies. Findings from the Deloitte 2018 Health Care
Consumer Survey.” Deloitte Insights. September 25, 2018.
4. Colorado Regional Health Information Organization.
“Our Services.” 2019. https://www.corhio.org/.
Erin Head ( Erin.Head@parrishmed.com) is the director of health information management and medical staff services at Parrish Medical Center.
Care integration among multiple providers and locations can be achieved
using efficient information exchange that is accessible and secure.