ECRI Institute Survey Finds 46% of Healthcare Leaders Have Yet to Assess Capacity for Health Information Exchange

New white paper examines how leaders are approaching interoperability requirements

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ECRI Institute (, an independent nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, has released its latest white paper, which explores whether healthcare leaders are prepared to share data across a healthcare community to improve coordination and quality of care.


The new white paper, "Crossing the Connectivity Chasm: Pinpointing Gaps in Readiness to Exchange Health Information," is based on the results of a survey conducted by ECRI Institute and strategic partner s2a (, an expert in health information exchange and interoperability.

While the survey findings reveal that healthcare leaders understand the importance of health information exchange, the paper points out the challenges they're facing in identifying what they need to do in order to successfully set up and maintain interoperability.

"Only 54% of the respondents indicated that their organization has formally assessed their health information exchange and interoperability needs," said Thomas E. Skorup, MBA, FACHE, vice president of ECRI Institute's Applied Solutions Group. "If an organization fails to address the gaps in its ability to exchange healthcare data, not only will it delay efforts to provide patient care and quality at lower costs, it may also prevent that organization from meeting Meaningful Use requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)."

The survey addressed 10 issues pertaining to health information exchange. Participants indicated if they agreed, partially agreed, or disagreed with each of the statements, which included the following:

  • Your organization's electronic health record (EHR)/electronic medical record (EMR) electronically exchanges health information with non-employed provider EHRs/EMRs
  • Your organization has begun to utilize IT systems to analyze and manage the population health information needed to be more accountable for patient care
  • Providers not employed by your organization have remote electronic access to your enterprise clinical information systems

"Healthcare leaders know they need to create a fluid exchange of health information that allows them to demonstrate improved communication and coordination of care between providers," says s2a President John K. Evans, MHA, FACHE. "But our data show that they need assistance in navigating the twists and turns of achieving interoperability."

Health information exchange is part of the Meaningful Use Guidelines set forth in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under these guidelines, hospitals must use certified EHRs to improve quality of care and share clinical quality measures with CMS.

To download the full white paper, "Crossing the Connectivity Chasm: Pinpointing Gaps in Readiness to Exchange Health Information," visit ECRI Institute's website at

For more information about ECRI Institute and s2a's health information exchange services, visit, or contact Thomas Skorup by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5160; by e-mail at; by fax at (610) 834-1275; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for nearly 45 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

About s2a
Strategic partner s2a ( brings substantial expertise in the planning, development, and implementation of health system, community-based, and statewide health information exchanges and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO). s2a has developed a proven methodology for health information exchange gained from the development of statewide health information technology/health information exchange plans for Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan (2006 and 2010), New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as regional hospital/health system-based health information exchanges in Michigan and New York.