This resource provides guidance to states that are planning or implementing health information exchanges (HIEs), emphasizing the importance of including of vulnerable populations in these efforts.
National health policy is focused on advancing the use of HIEs in order to improve connectivity between healthcare providers and facilitate continuity of care, reduce medical errors, and decrease costs associated with episodic care. This resource provides a compelling argument for why it is important to include vulnerable populations in initiatives to develop HIE. The authors provide 6 recommended practices for including vulnerable populations in HIE planning efforts and outline a few of the ONC standards that will have quality and cost benefits for healthcare providers that work with this population. The authors also include an in-depth outline of actions and considerations that can help HIT coordinators adhere to meaningful use criteria, ensure that vulnerable populations are included in their planning efforts, and develop quality measures that reflect the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations. Finally, the authors highlight three states, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, that have demonstrated promising practices that engage vulnerable populations in HIE implementation initiatives.