Today, healthcare organizations do their best to deliver the best patient experience. They use modern technologies and follow the latest healthcare trends
to provide the best to their customers. As technology is evolving, healthcare organizations are gaining access to the tools for better information. Also, the patients now expect their data to be available 24*7 when they change their physicians.
The healthcare IT system has evolved in recent years. It is getting motivated to enhance patient care and addressing new ways to analyze data and risk. The healthcare systems should adapt to exchange and to interpret the data between devices. One of the amazing ways to provide a better quality of care is through interoperability. Healthcare interoperability consists of processes, communications, and people. All supported by a drive to provide unique and amazing healthcare services.
The healthcare industry has developed standards for different purposes related to documents, messaging, and frameworks. For instance, in messaging, they have made standards that define the structure of data elements and facilitate communication between clinical systems. IEEE 1073 determines the message to share data within biomedical instrumentation equipment. DICOM
helps in communicating diagnostic images information related to it.
What Do You Understand by Healthcare Interoperability?
Interoperability in healthcare compiles the information and presents it in a simplified way.
It gathers the patient’s information from multiple sources and presents it to the healthcare provider. It exchanges the information and shares it with healthcare experts, nurses, and laboratories.
Interoperability has become a crucial topic for over a decade. ICD-10 defines procedures for billing and paperwork.
Levels of Health Information Technology Interoperability
Each of the levels of health information technology interoperability has its importance.
1. Foundational Interoperability
It is the basic level of exchange of information. The received information is not interpreted without user intervention. It enables the HIT information transition from one channel to another. Proper track of each patient helps in a better study when required.
2. Structural Interoperability
This level is complex. The format of data that has to be changed is decided at this level. It defines the structure, format, and syntax of the data to be interpreted.
It allows the uniform movement of the data from one end to another. The healthcare data makes further essential analysis.
3. Semantic Interoperability
It creates a perfect and accurate data-transfer channel. The important part here is data normalization. It changes the content into standard terminologies and allows the semantic data to eliminate the relative ambiguity.
4. Organizational Interoperability
It consists of social, legal, and governance considerations to share seamless and secure communication within the organizations.
How Interoperability Improves Healthcare
The goal of interoperability is to focus on patient care and safety. Let us read its benefits offered to the healthcare industry.
1. Better Care Coordination and Safeguards Patient’s Data
Today, patients often do administrative tasks like filling out the documents and explaining their medical history. Sometimes this is inefficient performance. By using interoperability, the healthcare facilities deliver better patient care satisfaction and enhance the overall performance.
Protecting a patient’s privacy is another goal of healthcare interoperability. With interoperability, the staff need not have to add the same data of the patient instead of the system access the details and from the Electronic Health Records system. Only a limited person has the authority to access the confidential information, and thus the patient’s data is secured.
With the interoperability of HR systems, the experts can easily track their access and manage access rights. Through this, the organization can have a better idea about their data location and can secure a patient’s data privacy. Here are other key points to note regarding data privacy and security
that you should know.
2. Enhances Staff Productivity
When the database is set according to interoperability, then you will see an enhancement in productivity. There would be no data redundancy, and this would speed-up the document process.
Working with digital documents updates the record automatically and also saves time. It reduces repetitive tasks, and the experts could treat more patients. Furthermore, patients have better control over their data and remove the burden of that administrative burden.
3. Improves Public Health Data
Interoperability helps share accurate data and interpretation of public health data. It facilitates the share and interoperability of data and allows a healthcare organization to prevent an outbreak.
By sharing the real-time results, it enhances the quality of patient care. The majority of the patients receive their data through independent clinics and hospitals. Full visibility and access to the data through healthcare institutions is the added benefit of interoperability.
4. Exchange of Data Between Other Systems
Different information is needed by staff to deliver the best and accurate patient results. Now you can easily communicate electronically with the patient’s pharmacy. The pharmacist does not have to spend time waiting for the Xray digital version.
The Xray is sent to him even before the patient leaves the room. The images are popped up on display through the interoperability of the connected database. The exchange of information is done through the latest technologies and improves healthcare efficiency.
5. Reduced Healthcare Costs
Productivity can be reduced without system interoperability. According to research, the clinicians waste over 40 minutes each day due to the outdated technologies. The interoperability means the documents can be replaced with digital transactions. It provides the opportunity to save time and provides the data in real-time.
6. Flexible and Speed
It shares up-to-date information to the systems and is easy to understand. Furthermore, the doctors, nurses, and other health experts trust the data shared by the integrated systems and give them better choices for patient results.
Limitations of Healthcare Interoperability
No doubt, healthcare interoperability offers several benefits to the healthcare industry. It has challenges too.
1. Collaborating is not Easy
Collaborating with multiple systems can be challenging. The more technologies you would need to interact with, the more the complexity increases. A good clinical communication platform gathers information from multiple sources and provides data to clinicians.
2. Standardized Way of Identifying Patients
Mismatch patient EHR can lead to several problems. According to the statistics, 1 out of 5 patient’s data is mismatched. The data gets wrongly transferred when healthcare professionals exchange the patient’s data.
3. Technical and Financial Barriers
It lacks standards of data quality and healthcare provider data matching. Plus, it doesn’t meet the changing requirements of technologies for sharing information. The federal reporting requirements add burden to healthcare experts by focusing on quality measures.
4. Lack of Consistency
There is not a single way of identifying patients in the healthcare field. They are usually identified by their social security number and DOB. The problem that arises here is that the information is stored in different ways. That means the patient’s identification can cause errors.
5. Lack of Standards for Managing Information Between Health Systems
Today, the data is transferred via copying the info from one EHR software to another. But mismatched fonts and external data fields create the error. Therefore the data is checked before transferring to another location. Thus, it consumes time. In the healthcare industry, several standards get updated and maintained through collaborative processes, and there is no single standard.
6. The Blocking of Information
The lack of shared data is challenging in the healthcare industry. The information, when shared from one vendor to another, becomes a problem when someone demands money in exchange. Healthcare data requires privacy and security provisions.
The ability of the computer system to connect and to work with each other is called interoperability. Remember that achieving health data interoperability comes with risks. The organization should know the benefits of interoperability so that they can serve patients in a better way.
Furthermore, it keeps the patient’s data secure and minimizes the work of copying. With interoperability, the staff works productively and shares information.