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Institute for Population Health Improvement

Institute for Population Health Improvement

The HIE Ready Buyers' Guide to EHRs, HIOs & HIE Technologies

Improving Health Care: The healthcare sector has lagged behind other industries in adopting new technologies in telecommunications and the dramatic advances in information management that have transformed American culture.  U.S. health care still relies on antiquated methods of recording, storing and sharing medical information, leading to many of the now well-documented problems in care coordination, quality of services and patient safety.

Improving the quality of health care and coordination of services requires that medical information flow rapidly and securely between physicians' and other healthcare providers' offices, hospitals and other facilities.  To achieve this requires widespread adoption of electronic Health Information Exchange (HIE).

To facilitate the adoption of HIE and help address the need for EHRs to “talk with each other”, the California Health eQuality (CHeQ) program, under the Institute of Population Health Improvement (IPHI) at UC Davis, has produced this HIE Ready Buyers’ Guide to identify interoperability and interface features that should be in place to support healthcare data exchange today.

This Buyers’ Guide will help physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers make informed choices when discussing HIE capabilities with EHR vendors, HIOs, and HIE vendors.  It allows purchasers to make side-by-side comparisons of important HIE features based on commonly accepted interoperability and interface standards embedded in the EHRs of the participants in HIE Ready.  The Buyers' Guide also provides information on how well an HIO supports those same standards.

Access a complete copy of the Complete Buyers' Guide and Additional Resources below.  For additional information contact

Update: The HIE Ready 2.0 Specifications Matrix is now ready for review!


 How to Participate 

Healthcare Providers: If your EHR vendor is not participating in HIE Ready, ask them to join today!  You have the right to know what HIE capabilities your vendor offers and how much it will cost to implement them.  Being able to compare vendors' offerings on this website allows you to make better-informed decisions. 

Vendors: Interoperability capabilities are essential to local, regional and national HIE, and these features are quickly providing a competitive advantage.  By participating in HIE Ready you will ensure that your customers understand your HIE capabilities and that they won't be surprised by associated costs. 

HIOs: You have the challenging responsibility to create a governance, legal, technical, and trust environment that support secure, reliable, affordable HIE.  By participating in HIE Ready you supply local healthcare providers with your capabilities alongside those of their EHR vendors.  

Additional Resources
HIE Ready Background : Presentation slides explaining the issues and the impetus for HIE Ready

Frequently Asked Questions : More information about HIE Ready and the Buyers' Guide. 

Memorandum of Understanding : How EHR vendors, HIOs, and HIE vendors can sign up and participate in HIE Ready.  Included are matrices delineating specific standards and capabilities with which to compare vendors.