About 71 percent of hospitals participated in at least one national health information network in 2017, according to a new report on electronic health information exchange by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. About half of hospitals participated in both a national network and a state, regional or local health information network. Most hospitals used more than one electronic method to routinely send or receive summary of care records with outside organizations, with health information service providers the most common method. About one-quarter of small, rural and critical access hospitals exclusively used non-electronic methods to receive summary of care records. “Understanding the methods used by health care organizations to enable exchange and their capacity to do so … provides context for how and where policy development and investments can streamline the complexity of exchange and address barriers to interoperability,” the authors note. The findings are based on data from the 2017 Information Technology Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey.

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