Friday, December 6, 2013

Challenges of Interoperability in Healthcare

Although regional  health information exchanges were promoted and funded early in 2004-2006 by then appointed David Brailer MD and the Office of the National Coordinator for Information (by George Bush), progress has been slow due to a number of factors.

At the recent 2013 AHIMA meeting, interoperability was a topic discussed by Steve Bonney, VP of Business Development and Strategy at BayScribe.

 In this video interview. Steve discusses the challenges of getting structured data in healthcare and how you can use good technology to get the healthcare data without disrupting the physician workflow. Steve also discusses some of the benefits of having interoperable data in healthcare. Then,we ask him if Meaningful Use is going to make structured, interoperable data a reality.

Despite the increased acceptance of EHR many providers, and hospitals are reticent to 'buy in' to connectivity based upon costs and an unknown ROI. On the other hand there are many large outstanding and credible health institutions that have built networks between their hospitals and providers.

Perhaps the addition of the Affordable Care Act, it's mandates and looming deadlines have diverted manpower and financial  resources from health information exchanges, making it a lower priority with unknown results financially from the Affordable Care Act. Providers and hospitals are clearly challenged with developing Accountable Care Organizations, EHRs, Health Information Exchanges, and the possible change in reimbursement paradigm.

On the one hand health information exchanges could reduce costs, however achieving both ends....interoperable EHRs and the Affordable Care Act may take longer to achieve than originally antcipated.

Nevertheless the sum of the parts should be greater than the whole, and the transformation cannot be complete without each paradigm suceeding. Each part has it's proponents.

In my next blog posting, we'll discuss 'BIG DATA' and analytics...the promises and disappointments to come.

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