What is Health Information Exchange?

Electronic health information exchange (HIE) is the exchange of electronic data between data providers and authorized users. It enables clinicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers to access a patient’s vital medical information when appropriate. The HIE is therefore a hub through which information flows from one authorised user to another.

CareConnect is a Health Information Exchange, currently in development phase, for the South African healthcare sector.

The purpose of Health Information Exchange (HIE) in a healthcare system is to:

  • Improve the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.
  • Improve public health reporting and monitoring.
  • Help facilitate coordinated patient care, enhance patient communication and improve the completeness of a patient’s health record. This has a positive impact on care and diagnosis.
  • The appropriate sharing of relevant information in an emergency situation can also mean the difference between life and death as healthcare providers are able to make their decisions based on an accurate history of a patient’s health records when the patient cannot speak for him/herself.
  • HIE assists in avoiding duplicate testing and readmissions to hospital.
  • Where treatment is provided in different locations, it can be managed by information-based care management.