Health information exchange (HIE) is the secure sharing of patient health information among authorized providers. It is a process or action that can be facilitated by an organization, called a health information organization (HIO). Health information exchange can also include the secure sharing of patient health information directly between providers.
An entity that facilitates the secure exchange of patient health information between participating providers is called a health information organization (HIO). There are two types of HIOs that facilitate this secure exchange:
- A private or enterprise HIO – an organization is operated by one healthcare organization that facilitates exchange of patient health information within a closed or private network.
- A public HIO – an independent, community organization that facilitates the exchange of patient health information among disparate healthcare organizations and providers.
What is Direct Exchange?
Direct Exchange, sometimes called the “push” approach, is a secure connection between two trusted entities, where information is “pushed” by secure e-mail from one entity to another. This might involve receiving lab results, sending a care summary to a patient’s specialist, submitting patient data to a state registry or referring a patient to another provider. Direct Exchange involves using the secure messaging services offered by health information service providers (HISPs) who facilitate Direct messaging between two trusted entities.