Health information exchange is one of the primary goals of the current healthcare reform. This means physicians across specializations and facilities would be able to access a patient's health information in order to provide them with better care. When this level of interoperability is achieved, it's anticipated healthcare will cost less and be more efficient, since practitioners will order duplicate tests less often and will be able to gain a more complete perspective of an individual's health.
These goals rely on high-quality data and thorough information, a recent report by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) explains. The Ensuring Data Integrity in Health Information Exchange paper points out that in order to truly use the electronic databases in the ways intended, healthcare providers will need be able to match or link multiple and disparate records belonging to a single patient.
To combat mismatched information, AHIMA suggests that providers develop solutions that can preserve data quality and data integrity. These tactics can help them ensure all of patients' existing records are correctly linked to each individual. Health information exchange governance may require practices to establish goals and objectives for their data structures, the report explains.