Electronic clinical data exchange promises substantial financial and societal benefits, but it is unclear whether and when it will become widespread. In early 2007 we surveyed 145 regional health information organizations (RHIOs), the U.S. entities working to establish data exchange. Nearly one in four was likely defunct. Only twenty efforts were of at least modest size and exchanging clinical data. Most early successes involved the exchange of test results. To support themselves, thirteen RHIOs received regular fees from participating organizations, and eight were heavily dependent on grants. Our findings raise concerns about the ability of the current approach to achieve widespread electronic clinical data exchange.
Adler-Milstein J, McAfee AP, Bates DW, Jha AK. The state of regional health information organizations: current activities and financing. Health Affairs. 2008;27(1):w60-9.