Our Director of Clinical Consulting, Dr. Richard Swafford, recently presented a session titled “A Hybrid Model HIE: A Path to Sustainability” at the HIMSS15 Conference in Chicago, Illinois. 

Sustainability has been one of the most pressing challenges for health information exchanges (HIE), obstructing the healthcare industry's path to healthier populations. During his presentation, Dr. Swafford described how HIE organisations can create sustainable business models.

Dr. Swafford previously served as the Executive Director of the Inland Empire HIE (IEHIE), a Southern California-based private HIE that serves over five million people and is one of the most successful HIEs in the country. From the beginning, IEHIE made sustainability a goal, and used that principal to guide its business practices.

During the HIMSS presentation, Dr. Swafford shared the secret to IEHIE's success, which lies in its governance structure (a hybrid public/private model), its subscription model, and its innovative technology.

Dr. Swafford also reviewed IEHIE's list of recommendations for creating a sustainable HIE, including:

  • Growing volume in a fee-based structure
  • Identifying ways to reduce costs in a practice setting
  • Creating services that are more valuable than the cost
  • Focusing on continuing to learn, innovate, and grow

To find out what else IEHIE recommends to increase financial viability, and learn more about its hybrid governance model and other factors that contributed to its success, you can read the conference handout from Dr. Swafford's presentation here.