Echoing a trend in the healthcare sector to focus on population health and patients’ social determinants of health, EHR vendors are beginning to contemplate the transition to a CHR—or Comprehensive Health Record—dropping the “E” in favor of “C.” According to Healthcare IT News, for example, Epic’s founder envisions a CHR that would incorporate social determinants of health into a patient’s medical record.
While the advent of a CHR has the potential to assist medical providers with connecting patients to community resources, some healthcare organizations find value in sharing data between entities—whether it be between other healthcare providers, post-acute facilities, churches, food banks, and more—to meet the unmet medical and social needs of their surrounding community.
There is no exact science or practice to achieve this aim, though some researchers have suggested a framework for a “community health record” to facilitate access and data exchanges. The value and potential of such data cannot be understated, and as organizations partner to pioneer a path toward data-sharing, others may learn from these experiences to similarly achieve a like-minded goal.
In the following slides, we will summarize current data-sharing practices we have come across in our research, as well as some of the inherent risks and benefits of engaging in a collaborative data exchange.