Since that brief holiday greetings post a couple of weeks back, I have not written a single thing for this site. Even before that post, my writing, or at least frequency thereof, had fallen precipitously. It is not that there has been nothing to write about – far from it.
But it is not that I have not been writing, it’s just that I have had my head down focusing on getting the long awaited HIE Report (now in final edit and layout stage) done. And this has not been easy as the market has been extremely fluid and the definition of what an HIE is and is not is becoming increasingly elusive. This led to one conclusion in the forthcoming report: Five years from now there will not be an HIE market as we will have moved beyond “information exchange” and to higher level services/solutions.
Now I really do not have time right now to write new, original content on some aspect of the market for you dear reader. But I have something else that I hope you will at least satiate your appetite in the short-term until I can dedicate more time to writing thoughtful posts for this site. Below is a clip directly from the HIE report (Chapter 2 to be exact) that will provide you something to chew on till that HIE Report is finished (unless of course there is some big announcement that demands my attention, e.g, the Medicity-Aetna deal).
And in closing, thank you for your patience and look forward to seeing many of you at HIMSS’11.
Analytics & Reporting Move to the Front
Analytics and reporting can be characterized as the “ugly duckling” of the HIE market. Until very recently, analytics and reporting capabilities of HIE solutions in the market were not much more than simple usage and transaction audits. These capabilities are used to improve physician recruitment/use of the HIE and assessing fees to subscribers of an HIE respectively. A number of recent announcements coupled with acquisitions will take this long-overlooked area and rapidly bring it to the forefront of competitive differentiation among HIE vendors.
Analytics and reporting will see strongest adoption among enterprises seeking to improve operations. While most HIEs being deployed today are focusing on Stages 1-3, (Note: for the report Chilmark Research has created a five stage maturity model for HIEs) early adopters of enterprise HIEs will be looking to move to Stage 5 in advance of future bundled payment models. Not unlike other sectors of the economy, these proposed payment models will begin paying ACOs based on value delivered (quality vs. cost). This will require a far higher level of operational knowledge and understanding than what most ACOs operate with today. A hybrid HIE with a transitory CDR and deep analytics capabilities can provide the ACO with a deeper understanding of operations, including where specific quality and operational metrics are below target(s) identifying areas for future improvement.
While the strongest demand for such analytical and reporting tools will come from the enterprise market, we also foresee a future for such in the public HIE market. Within this sector, these tools will primarily be used to address public health reporting requirements. The public HIE market will likely be a distant follower to the enterprise market in their adoption and use of more sophisticated analytics and reporting tools as this is not a core requirement at this time, nor is there a pressing business justification for their adoption.
Of the 21 HIE vendors profiled for this report, few offer analytics and reporting capabilities beyond the aforementioned transaction and usage audits. Table 2.14 provides a brief overview of those HIE vendors that have some analytical capabilities. Even among these vendors, many of the solutions are still immature and necessitate closer evaluation.