Hospital-Physician Portals: The Role of Competition in Driving Clinical Data Exchange

November/December 2006
Health Affairs , Vol. 25, No. 6
Joy M. Grossman, Thomas Bodenheimer, Kelly L. McKenzie

Recent policy efforts to encourage the use of health information technology are emphasizing development of communitywide health information exchanges to share clinical data across patient care settings. Based on findings from HSC’s 2005 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities, the study found that most large hospitals have or are developing physician portals to provide admitting physicians with remote access to patient records, but there is little data sharing among unaffiliated organizations. Competition among hospitals for physicians is a key factor driving adoption of these proprietary systems. In contrast, provider and health plan competition and adversarial relationships between providers and plans are viewed as major barriers to communitywide clinical data sharing.

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