In Record-Breaking Hurricane Season, U.S. HIE Leaders Understand What’s at Stake

Healthcare Informatics: In the wake of two recent hurricanes that caused major damage in some U.S. regions, health information exchange (HIE) leaders around the nation, even in those areas that were not affected, watched with eager eyes how their colleagues took a hands-on role during the emergencies.

Indeed, the two storms—Harvey, which severely impacted Texas and some surrounding areas, and Irma, which similarly affected several Southeast states—had wide-ranging healthcare implications in these pockets of the U.S. Thousands of residents throughout the regions were displaced from their homes due to the massive flooding, with an estimated 10,000 people living in shelters in Houston alone, including nursing home and hospital patients. Many pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices were closed and prescribing patterns disrupted, leading many patients needing to reconnect with their care regimens, often in new settings. As a result, HIEs can play a large role in disaster relief efforts.

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