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Health Information Exchange May Cut Costs and Reduce Medical Errors, but Raise Challenges

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Abstract:

A major reason for skyrocketing health care costs in the United States is that health care delivery is highly fragmented. Many patients seek care from an array of doctors, hospitals, labs, and other providers, but their full medical records are rarely available to these healthcare providers. This leads to higher medical costs, lower quality care, and a higher risk of medical error. To address fragmentation, leaders in government and health care are turning to health information exchange (HIE), a network designed to share patient information among providers. This report discusses the problems and advantages of HIE systems, their availability in Indiana, and actions that policy-makers can take to encourage HIE.