WEDI Releases Report on “Closing Gaps in Care Through Health Data Exchange”

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Report represents a first step towards educating the industry on the importance of data exchange in identifying and closing gaps in care

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WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, announced the development of its report titled “Closing Gaps in Care through Health Data Exchange.” This report provides an overview of current approaches, best practices, emerging opportunities and barriers to identifying, preventing and closing gaps in care through data exchange via health information technologies.
For the purposes of this report, gaps in care are defined as the discrepancy between evidence-based recommendations or best practices and the care that is actually delivered. Key findings from the report include:

1.    Greater education and communication are needed to raise awareness among stakeholders, particularly providers, about the value of identifying and closing gaps in care.
2.    Gaps in care can threaten the performance of healthcare organizations.
3.    Gaps in care programs have had a positive impact and seem to produce a high return on investment.
4.    Consensus is needed to develop and standardize quality measures and methodologies for information exchange among health plans, providers and patients in an actionable manner.
5.    In addition to interoperability, key technical barriers to exchanging gaps in care information include the provenance, quality, completeness, timeliness, transparency and accuracy of the data.
6.    Addressing gaps in care is a critical issue for stakeholders that grows in importance as value-based care efforts mature and health insurance coverage access and care increase.

According to the report: “As value-based care, consumerization and population health management strategies continue to transform the healthcare industry, the implementation of gaps in care programs will be critical to improving quality and reducing costs. Healthcare stakeholders must continue to work together to develop a health IT infrastructure that can seamlessly exchange health data, automate the identification of gaps in care and streamline the coordination of services. Our research suggests that greater education and communication are needed to raise awareness among stakeholders. The report represents a first step towards educating the industry on the importance of data exchange in identifying and closing gaps in care.”

Additionally, the report summarizes results from the Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation’s mixed-methods qualitative research that was conducted to enable a better understanding of data exchange challenges and to identify effective strategies for workflow automation and optimization. Methods included qualitative interviews, case studies, a quantitative national survey and one focus group.

“As we increasingly grow fee-for-value arrangements in our nation, it is critical that we look to methods to not only automate gaps-in-care – to not only ensure that data moves seamlessly between clinical systems and payment systems but that the information is useful and actionable for clinicians and patients,” commented the Honorable Louis W. Sullivan, MD, Board Chair of the Sullivan Institute. The Sullivan Institute is a sister organization to the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI).

The “Closing Gaps in Care through Health Data Exchange” report was made possible through the support of GE Healthcare, and is available on the WEDI website.

About WEDI
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.wedi.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About The Sullivan Institute
The Louis W. Sullivan Institute for Healthcare Innovation is the sister foundation of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI). Led by Former Secretary of HHS Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, the Institute is a network of private institutions, at the CEO level, that serve to quickly identify and spread innovative technologies across the US healthcare system with the goal of accelerating the pace of health IT adoption, to realize efficiencies in healthcare information exchange and to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. More information on the Sullivan Institute can be found online at http://www.sullivaninstitute.org.

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Press contact information:
Jennifer Jennings
770-900-5456
Jennifer(at)andersoni(dot)com

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