Why data exchange matters

March 15, 2023

All Californians, no matter where they live, should be able to trust that their physicians can safely and securely access critical patient information to provide safe, effective, whole-person care. But most Californians receive care from multiple providers that may or may not be able to share health records electronically, resulting in delayed access to critical information. This connection gap impacts all of us, but disproportionately impacts communities of color, low-income Californians, older populations and rural parts of our state.

Data exchange fills that connection gap and allows physicians to access and securely share a patient’s medical information electronically to improve the speed, quality, safety, coordination and cost of patient care.

For Physicians. Physicians understand that patients are complex and it's as important to know about a patient’s medical history as it is to understand what social determinants of health might be preventing the best health outcomes. By exchanging patient data, you are supporting more efficient care by ensuring everyone involved in a patient’s care has access to the same information. Data exchange reduces medical errors, minimizes unnecessary labs and tests, streamlines administrative tasks, engages patients in their own care and supports improved coordination of care.

For Your Patients. Data exchange allows  your patients to spend less time on the phone or filling out paperwork, briefing your practice on their  medical history, or hand-delivering medical records. Data exchange allows patients to share in their health care experience and engage with their care team in better, faster and secure coordination of their care.

For California. Data exchange is a valuable tool that supports safe, effective, whole-person care but it is highly underutilized. To make it more useful, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) will be implementing the Data Exchange Framework (DxF). DxF will create new connections and efficiencies among health and social services providers, improving whole-person care.

Data Exchange Explainer Webinar Series

Want to know more about why data exchange matters? Watch the first installment of the California Medical Association (CMA) Data Exchange Explainer Series webinars,  “Data Exchange Explainer Webinar 1: Overview of Data Exchange.” CMA partnered with CHHS to develop the series to walk practices through the various considerations in implementing robust data exchange.

The second webinar in the series will be April 13, 2023, and will review legal and policy issues surrounding data exchange.

The full series includes:

This webinar series is supported by a grant from CHHS and is free to all physician practices.


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