Patient encounters and care transitions in one community supported by automated query-based health information exchange.
Health Information Management
Medical Records Systems, Computerized
Care transitions from one facility to another threaten patient safety due to the potential loss of critical clinical information. Electronic clinical data exchange may address the problem. Approaches to exchange range from manual directed exchange, or sending point-to-point messages, to automated query-based health information exchange (HIE), or aggregating data from multiple sources. In this study, we measured the extent to which automated query-based HIE supported patient encounters and care transitions in one community. During the 23-month study period, 41% (n=33,219) of affirmatively consented patients had at least one encounter supported by automated query-based HIE. Of these patients, 41% (n=13,685) visited two or more facilities and accounted for 68% of total encounters. Of total encounters, 28% (n=40,828) were care transitions from one facility to another. Findings suggest that automated query-based HIE may support care transitions with efficient information sharing and assist United States providers in achieving stage two of meaningful use.