Improvements in global health are now possible thanks in large part to the digitization of healthcare, but this progress comes with its own set of difficulties. Many different types of health information technology (HIT) systems are currently in use throughout the healthcare industry, including electronic health records (EHRs), billing software, portals for each and every payer, and a wide variety of specialized medical tools with their own unique user interfaces. Many of these technologies are incompatible with one another because of data silos and legal barriers, forcing healthcare professionals and personnel to complete tasks manually. In addition, the cost of dealing with this additional bureaucratic work is considerable.
Also, the importance of the release of information services cannot be overstated. Interoperability becomes much more useful in similar contexts. Healthcare costs have the potential to be reduced at an exponential pace, and interoperability solutions hold the key to resolving some of the industry’s most intractable problems.
Explain The Concept Of “Interoperability” In The Healthcare Industry?
The ability of different healthcare IT systems to exchange, understand, and use data in concert with one another, both internally and externally, is known as “interoperability.” It’s crucial for the sector because it gives patients more control over their health data and lets doctors provide better, more efficient treatment. Achieving interoperability is a difficult task for healthcare institutions.
Why Is Healthcare Interoperability So Important?
According to a Deloitte poll, value-based care and excessive regulation are driving healthcare interoperability. Earlier, it has been challenging to gain access to and share health data due to privacy and safety issues.
However, delays in gaining access to health records can lead to a less-than-complete assessment of a patient’s condition, which in turn can have a detrimental effect on both patient outcomes and healthcare expenses. Care can be coordinated more efficiently, and patients’ health can improve when hospitals and other healthcare providers communicate vital patient information with one another and with other providers outside their own networks.
Now lets us talk about interoperability solutions in healthcare and their five major benefits:
- Enables Secure Patient Data
You know how categorically crucial it is to keep patient information safe and private. As you may be aware, interoperability in healthcare contributes to the safety of patients’ personal data. In order to save time, the system pulls the necessary information about a patient from external sources like an EHR so that staff members don’t have to repeatedly enter the same data.
Patients’ records are less likely to fall into the wrong hands when fewer persons are involved in their upkeep and revision. Strict restrictions regarding who is authorized to input and access this data can be set up by your IT department, making it simple to monitor staff compliance and conduct audits in the event of a suspected data breach. Old, poorly connected computer systems will be a thing of the past, putting an end to nightmares about patient data being leaked.
- Helps Researchers Operating for the General Welfare
Research into public health can benefit greatly from the information you collect as part of the routine of diagnosing and treating patients. In order to conduct epidemiological studies or evaluate the efficacy of a treatment, scientists rely on computer networks, and interoperability enables your internal computer systems to communicate with these networks.
Thanks to interoperability connections, not only can you make better use of patient data within your company, but you can also more easily share it with researchers who are striving to safeguard society against a wide range of medical issues. Keep in mind that your marketing materials are a wonderful opportunity to develop local goodwill by informing the general public about how your company is helping scientists by making data available to them.
- Enhances Employee Productivity
Productivity rises dramatically when computers and databases are designed to work together. Processing documents will be accelerated simply by reducing the number of times the same information must be entered. When switching to digital documents only (or at least scanning paper documents), you may quickly and easily access and update all of your files.
- Improves Data Sharing Across Platforms
Let us consider the many forms of data your team may need to disseminate. You may be updating information for an insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid, or you may need to provide reports of the CAT scan you ordered to a referring physician. Thanks to the interoperability of healthcare’s connected systems, x-rays obtained earlier in the day can be easily retrieved and displayed if necessary.
Additionally, you and the patient’s pharmacist can readily exchange electronic messages. Since you are delivering a digital version, the pharmacist will not have to waste time trying to read the doctor’s illegible handwriting. Patients can save time by filling their prescriptions while they wait, as the RX is sent to the pharmacy before leaving the waiting room.
- Superior Patient Assistance
One major advantage of interoperability is the reduction of paperwork for both staff and patients. Neither patients nor employees will need to rekey data from paper forms into a computerized system. In addition, the patient won’t have to repeat their story every time a new member of the team consults with them or follows up with them because all the pertinent information will be in their file.
The clear benefits of interoperability in healthcare for both patients and your organization’s staff indicate that it is a topic worthy of further attention by you and other stakeholders. Due to the constraints of your work schedule, it is understandable that you would prefer to learn about developments in the healthcare sector from reliable sources rather than conducting extensive independent research.
Final Thoughts: How Do Healthcare Organizations Achieve Interoperability?
The benefits of interoperability in healthcare are being hastened by the widespread use of new electronic data interchange standards like HL7 FHIR. Providers and payers alike are feeling the need to improve care delivery while reducing costs as a result of government requirements, stricter regulations, and the transition to value-based care. Electronic health information exchange systems must be optimized, and new technologies like AI and machine learning must be utilized if we are to achieve interoperability in healthcare.
AI in healthcare has the potential to serve as an integrator for the many separate processes that slow down the delivery of care. Health businesses may now use a single integrator powered by AI to operate across disparate technology platforms to effortlessly integrate data and enable interoperability. Lastly, the purpose of interoperability in healthcare is to allow for full patient access to their medical information and for doctors to have full access to a patient’s medical history from anywhere in the globe.