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Emerging Technologies for Health Information Exchange: A Landscape Assessment

A large provider organization asked Sujansky & Associates to evaluate several technologies it was considering to advance its HIE goals, including FHIR, eHealthExchange, Carequality, and CommonWell Health Alliance. The adoption of each technology entailed significant cost to the organization, so it was important to understand the practical capabilities and limitations with respect to the organization's clinical and business objectives. Sujansky & Associates performed an objective analysis and provided an in-depth report and recommendations.

Relevant documents:

Emerging Technologies for Health Information Exchange: A Landscape Assessment (PDF)

Sujansky & Associates' role in this project included:
  • Research on emerging technologies through literature review, internet search, and interviews with industry contacts

  • Analysis of the capabilities and limitations of these emerging technologies, as well as their relevant histories and relationships to each other

  • Recommendations given client's specific business needs and health I.T. assets

  • Documentation of analysis and recommendations in a concise report (see below)

 

Highlights

There exist several flavors of FHIR standards, which are not necessarily compatible.

eHealthExchange, the oldest national HIE infrastructure, has had relatively little adoption among commercial EHR vendors.

Carequality and CommonWell are based on similar technical standards, but provide markedly different HIE services.

The planned integration of FHIR standards into the CommonWell infrastructure could address the question of how FHIR will practically enable health information exchange among provider organizations.