Posted on: July 25, 2018

Between the annual user survey that we conducted recently and the targeted user forums we’ve begun to host over the last few months, we’re learning a lot about how the people who use Hixny the most see the health information exchange (HIE). We’ve received some great feedback—and we continue to hear some misconceptions that persist even as Hixny grows and changes.

The first common misconception focuses on missing data in the Hixny HIE. It shows up in comments such as, “Albany Med does not share to Hixny,” or, “We need more hospitals and private labs to participate and more real-time reports.”

In fact, Albany Medical Center—and all of its affiliated practices—fully participates in and uses Hixny. The organization has contributed many types of inpatient and outpatient data for more than five years. This data, like that from any Hixny source including hospitals and labs, is available in real-time. As soon as the data makes it to Hixny, it’s available to all of our other users.

You can also find a frequently updated list of our data contributors—and the type of data large organizations are contributing—on the Data Contributors page of our website. We update this list each time there is a change in data contribution, so it’s the first place to look if you want to know whether data from a particular organization is in Hixny.

The other common misconception centers around our system security. We continue to hear comments such as, “Login is cumbersome and passwords change too frequently, sacrificing usability for security.”

The fact is, Hixny will never apologize for taking security seriously. Our organization and our users share a responsibility to keep patient data secure and to foster trust among the individuals in our region who have consented to let us share their data to improve their care.

We recently reviewed a number of studies and surveys among patients across the country about their perception of HIEs. The top concern they expressed was data security—and to our surprise, they were only mildly concerned about a system breach. Patients were most concerned about unauthorized access to their data by medical professionals who shouldn’t be seeing or using it.

One of our frequent users recently summed up the misconceptions best. She said that some of her colleagues and contacts tried Hixny when it was brand new, years ago. They weren’t impressed. Few organizations and providers were contributing data, so it was common to search for a patient’s record and find nothing—or to find duplicate data that required effort to sort through.

But, she explained, those who stuck with Hixny or came back over time have had a totally different experience. Hixny has grown in recent years, not only adding more connections and more data, but making significant improvements to the quality of data. That being said, we are constantly advancing to make the user experience better.