Healthcare systems are moving towards a more centralized approach through standardization, integration, and interoperable technical solutions. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) vendors, payers, and providers will be accountable for ensuring their systems are interoperable using HL7-FHIR standards allowing healthcare providers to access and share patient medical record data securely and electronically in real time.
Connecting HIT Systems
The ability of the different health information technology (HIT) systems to connect within and across organizational boundaries will require costly and complex EHR or legacy system upgrades, development of Application Programming Interface (API) capacity, and adherence to the HL7-FHIR standards for data sharing. Ultimately health information exchange (HIE) and interoperability solutions will positively impact the quality of healthcare and facilitate benefits for clients, providers, and payers.
Interoperability Impacts Providers and Clients
The benefits to clients from this interoperability will be the delivery of whole person coordinated care as requirements shift from fragmented care that results from healthcare data silos to a simplified, integrated technological solution. Interoperability has become increasingly paramount as new legislation for healthcare continues to expand and adapt.
Recent changes with Health and Human Services (HHS) rules give clients more control over their health data empowering them to access and manage their personal healthcare information. Clients will be able to ensure their medical history is accurate and up to date and have control over what information can be shared. Providers in turn will be able to quickly access and securely share a client’s medical history, and other pertinent health data with other clinicians across counties and providers, improving coordinated care and client outcomes.
Costly mistakes will be avoided from unnecessary treatments or medication errors – improving workflow and lowering costs through accurate and efficient billing while eliminating duplicative paperwork. This movement towards greater connectedness and streamlining healthcare data will strengthen services from providers and ultimately allow for more personalized, coordinated, and accountable care.
Application Measures for Accountability
Accountable care is an emerging model for healthcare that addresses the need for data exchange and collaboration. Interoperability is creating a master clinical data repository that enables providers and clients to access the ‘single source of truth’ information they need, when they need it. In turn, this integration of data will also support the larger goal of improving population health.
Healthcare payers and providers will need access to validated measures of patient‐centered outcomes across a spectrum of health conditions. Healthcare systems will need a credible way to measure outcomes in order to address potential gaps among subpopulations and identify groups in most need of improvement.
Access to population health data for automated analysis can proactively identify high utilizers along with their unique configuration of needs thereby guiding targeted treatment and promoting collaborative and systematic coordination of care. Organizations can become highly effective through real-time evaluation of services they provide and demonstrating improvements in the health outcomes of their population.
Recognizing and Overcoming Obstacles
Although the ultimate goal of a health information exchange is the safe and fluid movement of accurate information and the use of its data, the process has its challenges given data has typically been siloed and exists in disparate EHRs and legacy systems that may not have Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities.
The eINSIGHT HIE solution recognizes these obstacles and overcomes them with HL7-FHIR standards so that healthcare providers can focus on effective coordinated care of clients that leads to improved population health outcomes. Payers can provide an agile and affordable solution for their network of providers, and EHR vendors can engage a reliable partner to leverage a best-in-class HIE solution for their clients.
As an independent contractor, eINSIGHT applies solutions with tools to overcome issues with multiple vendors through a master Clinical Data Repository that represents a ‘single source of truth’. The HIE consolidates disparate client data making it possible to implement automated queries to proactively identify high utilizer clients, deliver coordinated care based on unique client needs, and monitor improvements in population health outcomes while lowering costs.
Want to streamline cross-communication between providers, counties, EHRs, payers and other systems? Learn more about the eINSIGHT HIE solution.
Dr. Weatherbee has spent decades working in education, behavioral health, public health, and more. He has experienced the unique challenges that exist in this field from multiple disciplines. His work in program evaluation lead him to create eINSIGHT to empower behavioral health service providers to improve client outcomes.