New Harvard survey casts serious doubt on future of RHIOs

Electronic clinical data exchange across the United States is far from a reality, with few organizations facilitating such exchange and many failing in the process, reports a new study by Harvard researchers published today on the Health Affairs Web site.
The study, based on a 2007 survey of 145 regional health information organizations (RHIOs), is an assessment of the state of electronic health data exchange in the United States.
Electronic health data exchange between hospitals, doctors’ offices, labs, and other clinical settings has been hailed by many in the healthcare industry as the key to improving the quality, efficiency, and coordination of care. But the new survey, funded by Harvard’s Program for Health Systems Improvement, identifies serious barriers to achieving this goal with the current approach.
{“RHIOS don’t work because the only legal and ethical way to make the health information flow is with informed consent.” ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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