Interoperability in healthcare allows for sharing information while also improving the quality of care, boosting healthcare efficiency, and even providing financial incentives.
Fremont, CA: In healthcare, interoperability refers to the ability of diverse healthcare information technology (HIT) to exchange, interpret, and utilize data in a coordinated manner. Healthcare providers have been obliged to convert from paper to electronic health records since the American Recovery, and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was established in 2009. ARRA stated expectations for HIT to electronically transmit data, among many other industry-changing elements. This has been a significant development in healthcare in recent years, and it is likely the driving reason behind the industry's current quest for interoperability.
Interoperability is the ability of health information systems to communicate with one another both within and outside of organizations to improve the delivery of healthcare to individuals and communities.
Here are some of the benefits of interoperability:
Most patients are treated in a network of clinics, independent practices, and hospitals. The Continuum of Care, or the total of their medical history, is made up of those individual exchanges. This history details previous illnesses, operations, allergies, and consequences, among other things. Due to a lack of integrated healthcare IT systems, patients are unable to access all of those data points, which can be deadly at worst and exceedingly inconvenient at best. The key benefit of interoperability is full visibility and access to patient data for both the healthcare facility and the patient.
Medical practices may reduce repetitive tasks and substantially enhance margins by treating more patients and improving the quality of treatment they receive by having real-time results at their fingertips. Patients will have greater control over their own data, alleviating much of the administrative strain. Due to reliable data and insights, the remaining administrative and clinical processes will be streamlined.
Financial reimbursement and incentives
Meaningful Use, a program that provided financial incentives to practices that implemented electronic health records (EHRs), set the tone for system interoperability and its connection with financial incentives. This will continue to play an important part in future innovations in value-based care, such as MIPS/MACRA, enhancing the link between patient outcomes and financial performance.