New evidence suggests HIE use can contribute to cost savings and increased productivity in STI treatment and management led by public health staff.

 – Health information exchange (HIE) use can lead to cost savings and increased productivity in sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment and management, according to a new study published in Health Information Management Journal.

Haque et al. conducted the study with Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) and HEALTHeLINK, as well as RTI International. Researchers aimed to measure the benefits of using health data exchange to obtain demographic, lab, and treatment information about STIs — specifically, chlamydia and gonorrhea — in the state’s most western county.

Results of the 2012 study showed time savings stemming from HIE use led to improved productivity at the county’s health agency. ECDOH expanded its disease investigation without increasing work hours or spending and expanded disease control and partner services to residents who may have been missed prior to implementing HIE use as part of the disease management process.

“The ability to ensure adequate STI treatment and efficiently locate and notify exposed partners to get them into care will cut the chain of transmission and reduce the disease burden for the entire community,” stated Commissioner of Health Gale Burstein, MD, in an email statement.

HIE use contributed to greater efficiency and time savings for disease intervention specialists to identify treatment requests, cases, and contacts.

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