Why I Used The Health Information Exchange As A Platform For Public Policy Dialogue

At first, I considered going on Facebook to post my public health work, but I realized that I was missing a lot of the things I wanted to do. Through the Internet, it was easy to share information in a way that wasn’t readily available in person. I started the Health Information Exchange (HIE) to be a public site where I could meet and talk to other health care professionals about important issues and topics.

I started the health information exchange (HIE) to be a public site where I could meet and talk to other health care professionals about important issues and topics. It’s hard for me to find time to go to conferences or meet with experts in person, but social media provides a unique form of communication that allows me to meet in communities of like-minded patients, healthcare administrators, and health care providers. It helps me feel connected as I try to educate each other and influence policy makers as they create and implement health information policy and programs. HIE also keeps me on the cutting edge of the latest medical research, so it’s an effective way to disseminate the latest developments in the medical field to the local hospital audience.

The HIE began in my home with a group of friends who met on a popular facebook page called The Mute Patient Group (TMPG). I asked the group, “what can we do as advocates to help people with chronic disease (I have diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular issues)? What can health care providers do to help their patients? What could we do to find solutions to these issues?” They responded, “What would you like to do? Write a blog? Volunteer your time?” This is how I started to develop the first version of HIE – a group for patients, health care providers, and policymakers to build on one another’s ideas.

As the health information exchange continues to grow, I’m meeting and talking to more patients, providers, and policymakers with an ever-growing list of groups from around the country. This list is constantly growing in both size and community interest as more of us get the idea that health care as a public good needs to be considered.

This new blog post includes my experience in how I used the HIE as a forum to influence policy at the local or state level, and my experience as a patient who uses the online platform to find a better outcome.

In this blog, I’ll cover my experiences of using the HIE platform in several different ways, but my focus will be on how the HIE allows me to:

Build a bridge between my community (local and state) and the health care community;

Build a dialogue with policy makers as we work to implement public health programs (and in the future, health information policy) and increase patient rights and accessibility; and

Build a dialogue with policy makers as we work to ensure that the health of our patients (and society in general) continues to improve.

Here’s our approach to this platform in action:

Building Bridges: The HIE has provided a mechanism for local health care advocates like myself to learn about and engage with the health care policy discourse that is going on around us, even if we don’t have direct experience with public health services or public health policy issues. Although the platform serves as an informational platform, I see it more as a bridge to connect us with policymakers in our local or state jurisdictions. In that regard, it provides a gateway to communicate more effectively with local policy makers. By utilizing the HIE as an informational platform, I’ve participated with groups to develop and refine their plans to influence the local, state or federal political dialogue on various health related issues and to engage policy makers with their plans/strategies.   Creating a Forum: The HIE is a group for patients, providers, and policymakers to build on one another’s ideas and provide feedback on their own plans of action and to work towards a shared outcome or solution for a problem that affects many people. The platform also provides a unique forum for me to meet and form communities of like-minded patients, providers and policy makers, which I find to be valuable in my efforts as a patient, provider, and policy maker. I know that even though the HIE is an online platform, I can meet and talk to other health care professionals as well as policy makers about health issues.