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After your organization has implemented Electronic Health Records (EHR), a next step to consider is the ability to have a fully interoperable exchange of patients information through a Health Information Exchange (HIE).  It is increasingly important for Health care providers to be able to exchange Electronic Health Records (EHRs) both within their own organization and with other providers who may care for the same patients. In the United States, all information flowing through a HIE must comply with privacy and security standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The Health Information Management Systems Society (himss.org) is focused on optimizing the use of Health Information Technology (HIT) and management systems to improve healthcare delivery.  Members include governmental and not-for-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. You can read the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) FAQ at http://www.himss.org/library/health-information-exchange/FAQ.

Within individual states, strategy for a Health Information Exchange may be part of a larger state information technology architecture. A table of approved state plans is maintained at: http://healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/approved-state-plans

You can learn more about the HIE technology by reading an overview at Wikipedia: [URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_information_exchange.]

Keywords: HIE, health information exchange, HIT, health information technology, HIMSS, health information management, improve, initiative, state, EHR, electronic health record, AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, Stratis Health

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