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Seeking Sustainable RHIO Forest; View Obscured by Non-profit Trees by Martin Jensen

Martin_jensenHealth Affairs just published a study by a team of Harvard
researchers that has cast a pall on the
sustainability of Regional
Health Information Organizations (also referred to as Health
Information Exchanges). The report, The State Of Regional Health Information Organizations: Current Activities And Financing,
by Julia Adler-Milstein, Andrew P. McAfee, David W. Bates, and Ashish
K. Jha, seems to imply that the maladies suffered by RHIO efforts
around the country might be fatal, at least if you read the many news stories and blogs
that are talking about it.  I say "seems to" because our analysis
suggests that the industry echosphere is still missing quite a bit of
the big picture.  Let’s take this step by step, starting with the
Harvard study and moving into the invisible economy and the nature of
the RHIO challenge.

First, the "scary facts" presented by the researchers:

  • 25% of previously-listed RHIOs seem to be "defunct"
  • Only 20% of the remainder reported exchanging significant volumes of clinical data
  • Most of the data they were exchanging falls into the categories of lab results, inpatient data and medication history
  • A majority reported receiving in-kind donations, about half
    reported grants or financial contributions and slightly less than half
    reported no financial contributions

Read the rest at the Health 2.0 Blog

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