Sharing of patient information between health care providers, including through health information exchanges (HIEs), has been proposed as one of the essential changes to improve the quality and efficiency of the health care system in the United States. It has been estimated that HIEs could decrease health care costs across the country by approximately $78 billion annually. Despite numerous potential advantages of HIEs, there are few studies documenting their benefits. This lack of objective information might have slowed down their acceptance. Studies that demonstrate tangible evidence of benefits provided by HIEs are urgently needed. Provider surveys show that reduction in duplicate testing is one of the most commonly expected benefits. We therefore investigated whether the introduction of an HIE between 2 academic medical centers was associated with a reduction in volume of laboratory testing.
Hebel E, Middleton B, Shubina M, Turchin A. Bridging the Chasm: Effect of Health Information Exchange on Volume of Laboratory Testing. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Mar 26;172(6):517–9.