The Importance of Interoperability

Patient history. Hospital discharge orders. Insurance records. The ways to collect patient data are widely varied making them difficult to orchestrate for meaningful analysis. Ideally the data is reported to form a complete electronic care record (EHR) in a data exchange known as interoperability. However, the conclusion of a February 2015 Medical Care article is that while doctors have the ability to exchange more information when using health information technology, in more than one third of cases, they do not share needed patient information. With healthcare mandates requiring accurate reporting to engage patients and meet care standards, all patient information is critical making this lack of interoperability costly for today’s care givers.

ACA Meets Interoperability

The American healthcare landscape is being reformed by the standards of the Affordable Care Act, moving patients into a consumer role by offering them more options when it comes to healthcare spending. According to this infographic from Sports & Spine Orthopaedics, only 36% of the represented population fall in to categories which trust doctors to make treatment decisions and care plans (“Sick & Savvy”: 14%, “Content & Compliant”: 22%).

SPH health care consumers

Healthcare Consumer Segments

This leaves the greatest majority of the population ranging somewhere between “happy with care but interested in alternatives” (17%) to actively seeking quality, affordable care (4%). The majority of patients surveyed, 35%, report not being engaged in their healthcare; paired with the 17% of those surveyed, more than half of patients in the current healthcare landscape are open to changing care providers depending on the quality of service they receive.

Orchestrating Patient Data for Improved Outcomes

Patient data is critical to providing this quality care. Information gathered into a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) must be accurately recorded and shared to provide ongoing quality care. Healthcare providers suffer when data is lost and many have implemented the use of health information technology (HIT) expecting interoperability to help them understand their patient populations. The Medical Care article reports that in 2012, of 4,500 physicians using HIT to record patient consultation notes from outside their practice, patient history from a referring provider, and hospital discharge information, “at least 54% of them did not receive the information electronically”. Physicians reading this are likely shaking their heads in agreement as the challenges to receiving these kinds of patient information are notoriously difficult due to siloing of information by ancillary providers.

Symphony Performance Health‘s MDinsight 7.0 is designed to help physicians and providers solve the interoperability gap by providing coordinated EMR information between primary care and ancillary services such as home health, laboratory, and therapy providers. This kind of exchange makes the kind of data that has, traditionally, been difficult to gather, readily available to providers using health information technology and works towards The Office of National Coordinator’s 10 year plan for positive interoperability goals. The interoperability provided by MDinsight 7.0 provides physicians easy access the data needed to work with patients to create care plans which lead to patient engagement that lead to “Content & Compliant” patient populations.

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