Public health information exchanges are expressing concern about their sustainability and compatibility with private health data networks as the number of private exchanges increases, according to a report by the eHealth Initiative, Healthcare IT News reports.
The eHealth Initiative's 12th Annual HIE Survey included information gathered from 161 health data exchanges across the U.S.
According to the eHealth Initiative, private and public health data exchanges should operate on a level playing field.
Jennifer Covich Bordenick -- CEO of the eHealth Initiative -- said, "The primary purpose of [the exchanges] is to provide increased access to data that allows providers to deliver safer, quicker and more cost-effective care for their patients."
The researchers said, "If these exchanges are not able to effectively operate in conjunction with one another, we may be heading to a point where we can no longer share data."
They added, "As a result, the intention of [the exchanges] will be defeated."
Possible Effects of Restrictions on Public Funding
The report states that more research is needed to determine if the competition between private and public health exchanges is a direct result of guidelines and restrictions placed on the use of federal or state funds.
Such restrictions on public funding could be contributing to the rising number of private health data exchanges, according to the eHealth Initiative (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 11/15).