Secondary Uses of Health Information Exchange (HIE) Data

Written by
Omar Bouhaddou
Published on
September 12, 2022

Health Information Exchange (HIE) is an amazing modernization process that allows for health care professionals and patients to access and securely share a patient’s medical information electronically.  

This is happening at scale today not only between private health care providers, but also between private health care providers and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

As the demand for record sharing is growing, it is common to see most healthcare organizations utilizing interoperable Electronic Health Records, fluidly sharing medical information when their patients move across their providers.  

However, what we have seen is some of the data being shared is not fully utilized to its fullest potential.

For example, external data received from another organization is primarily reviewed for care coordination and then archived and not further used.

But here at InnoVet Health we beg the question, “Are there secondary uses for this external data?”

Can data retrieved from a HIE be parsed and included in an organization’s data warehouse model to supplement the internal data and improve the efficiency of healthcare processes and patient outcomes? 

We believe the answer to this question is YES. 

Not only does HIE data provide a more holistic view of patients’ clinical history, the richness and structure of these data (based on C-CDAs and coded terminologies like SNOMED CT, RxNorm, LOINC) can support multiple secondary use cases, including:  

  • Better estimating quality measures (e.g., HEDIS) 
  • Tracking and reporting of COVID testing and vaccination 
  • Better identification of suicide risk 
  • Homelessness risk management
  • Emergency department visit outcomes
  • Reducing risks of 30-day re-admissions
  • Retrieving results of external consultation requests, and
  • Providing additional data points for AI/ML predictive models  

InnoVet Health has been helping VA with their HIE program from the onset of this initiative some 15 years ago. In collaboration with Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and Health Level 7 (HL7), we promoted the standards that support these exchanges and feel the field has matured to now take full advantage of semantic interoperability and exploit HIE data for all the secondary use cases relevant to the business. 

We look forward to working with others to implement these secondary uses of HIE data and improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care delivery for all of us. 

By: Omar Bouhaddou, PhD (Co-Founder & CHIO of InnoVet Health) 

About Us:

InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn.

Partners in innovating the future of US Healthcare

Driving modernization and improving healthcare for our nation's Veterans.