Leaders of the state’s health care community understand the significant impact that health information exchange (HIE) can have on patients and providers. They see first-hand the efficiencies, cost savings and improved outcomes achievable through the simple, secure and protected sharing of electronic health information.

By helping build a statewide network of local HIE networks, the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) is making Texas a leader in HIE. In a series of Q&A-style video testimonials now posted on HIETexas.org, thought leaders from the Texas medical community – including physicians, emergency responders and health information technology experts – and THSA board members share their perspectives on the value of HIE and how Texas approaches the exchange of health information.

Key perspectives include:

  • Andrew Lombardo, executive director of Rio Grande Valley HIE, who is asked how HIE benefits Texans, responds:

“One of the greatest benefits is the ability to have patient care at the point of care, so no matter where you are in the state, your patient information will be there for the caretaker.  The second advantage particular to our region is for natural disaster, such as hurricanes, and we all have learned from several examples this past year.  So that information, if we have to do a mass commute, to say, San Antonio, that information would be available at the point of care.”

  • Nora Belcher, executive director of the Texas e-Health Alliance, who is asked how HIE impacts patients, states:

“What patients really deserve is for the right piece of information to be at the right place at the right time, and HIE as an action step is the way we make that information move so that the right thing happens at the right time in the health care system.”

  • Andy Hofmeister, commander of the Austin-Travis County EMS, who was asked how HIE helps emergency responders, notes:

“Knowing when their last encounter with the hospital was, and which hospital that was, knowing where their primary care provider may be, knowing where their mental health provider may be is very valuable because through our relationships with the various agencies in the community we are already prepared to try and get that patient either e-connected or connected with a service that benefits their long term goals.”

  • Edward Marx, board chair of THSA and chief information officer of Texas Health Resources, who was asked why all Texans should care about the value of HIE, remarks:

“We need to support HIE in Texas because it is vital to the overall health of the population. So by exchanging information between hospitals, and physicians, and payers and ancillaries like labs and radiology and surgical centers and things of that nature we can do the very best for our patients. We can actually lower costs while increasing the quality of care and from a patient perspective, make their life a whole lot easier.”

All 26 video testimonials can be viewed at http://hietexas.org/what-is-hietexas/understanding-hie-testimonials.

Video Testimonials: Health Care Thought Leaders Affirm Value of Health Information Exchange in Texas