Four Factors Driving the Push for Interoperability in Healthcare

2017-09-28
 

The future of healthcare relies on increased communication and collaboration. The ability to share data among providers, between health systems, and with patients has the potential to enable more accurate diagnoses, higher quality of care, and drive value-based initiatives.

To reach this bright future, health systems are increasingly investing in interoperability. The data already exists, and technology to capture it is in place — the remaining challenge is to make data freely available across the entire enterprise.

In our latest white paper, Interoperability As a Business Challenge: How Context Has Equaled Technology in Importance, we asked experts to weigh in on the challenges and opportunities health systems face as they move toward interoperability.  We found that there are four major factors contributing to the current race toward interoperable systems. Explore these key factors below, then download the white paper for a thorough analysis.

Four Key Factors Driving Interoperability in Healthcare

1. Maximizing Existing EHR Investment

Health systems have invested millions of dollars — billions, collectively — in IT infrastructure to create interactive electronic health records (EHR). Despite the time and resources invested, however, 58% of physicians still say the EHR is difficult to use. Health leaders have realized that the initial setup was just the beginning; to fully realize the benefits of an integrated EHR, there needs to be greater compatibility between storage and interface systems.

2. Achieving Value-Based Care Goals

Seamless information sharing is a pillar of value-based care. Interoperable platforms can help health systems maximize reimbursement, ensure optimal patient care, and help physicians track and prove the value of their contributions.

3. Facilitating Seamless Growth

As health providers merge and are acquired by larger organizations, it becomes more challenging to communicate effectively. If a newly-acquired clinic runs on a different IT platform than the existing health system, physicians may be stymied when trying to share information. Interoperability is key to unifying all the parts of a disparate health system.

4. Meeting Patient Expectations

Modern consumers are used to information being available seamlessly across devices. Their digital photos, documents, and contacts are stored in the cloud, readily available on a phone, a tablet, a laptop, and beyond. As patients become more active consumers of healthcare, they expect the same portability and accessibility of their medical data. Health systems must consider interoperability as it relates to patients as well as to providers.

These four key factors are driving health leaders to pursue greater interoperability. But the challenges facing interoperability initiatives are complex: It’s more than just providing access to data; for interoperability to truly make a difference in each of these four factors, the right data needs to be available to the right people at the right time. Context will play a substantial role in the success of interoperability initiatives.

To learn more about context and interoperability, download Interoperability As a Business Challenge: How Context Has Equaled Technology in Importance today.

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