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Newsletter Article


Health Information Exchange: What We Can Learn from the Beacon Communities

To be able to use health information technology to improve patient care, reduce costs, and promote a healthier population, providers need an infrastructure for health information exchange (HIE)—the secure, electronic movement of health-related information among different users. In this case study published by eGEMS, The Commonwealth Fund's Douglas McCarthy and colleagues looked at the choices made by seven communities that participated in the Beacon Community Program, which awarded federal funds for the development of health IT to support health care delivery and payment reforms.

The study's findings suggest that robust information exchange requires a centralized data repository and a method of accessing data on patient cohorts to support quality improvement, population health management, public health surveillance, and research and evaluation objectives.

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