By Abhinav Shashank
Healthcare technology has birthed many dreams related to health data connectedness and turned them into a reality. And yet, it lacks the capability to share clinical data efficiently at the exact moment of care.
What do We Want From 100% Interoperability?
When we talk about technology, the first thing that pops into our heads is Google. It’s a comfort to get a calendar notification that we might be late for an upcoming meeting. This is not rocket science, just two different products interacting on the same layer of a platform to make our lives simpler.
That’s also what we want out of Healthcare interoperability. We need to free Healthcare data from the shackles of disparate sources and hundreds of different formats. Healthcare organizations have created a complex web of EHRs and data platforms- as many as 16 distinct EHRs are installed at the average hospital. On the other side of the pond, only 2 percent of hospitals have a single vendor in use at their practice.
But wait, there’s more. If it’s not convoluted data that creates a barrier, it is information blocking – something that has been highlighted in Healthcare time and time again. As mentioned in a recent article, “Health information exchanges and health information networks are subject to penalties of up to $1 million for lack of interoperability. There’s no longer an excuse of distrust in data sharing.”
Even when we are able to move past this, there are different standards for sending, receiving, and managing information between Healthcare systems. The difficulty in merely copying information from one data system to another results in mismatched data fields, errors, and worst of all, delayed care.
The Root of the Perfect Solution
Today, with all of the data available on digital platforms, Healthcare organizations need to figure out how to share to best extract its value. It’s easy for us to get a notification of any transaction on our credit cards within seconds. This interaction is the biggest requirement for Healthcare interoperability: a network that is readily available to connect providers with data that is aggregated and holistic.
Once data is aggregated, the next step is to activate it and share it in real time. Raw data is of little use; Healthcare needs its data to tell a story. With data activation, organizations can set common standards throughout the network while enhancing patient-centric care. To save time in analyzing complex data over and over again or to eliminate requesting access to relevant patient information, activated data has to be delivered right at the point of care. It needs to be woven within the EHR workflow to limit the number of cascading tabs on a doctor’s screen, which can lead to broken pieces of information and can be detrimental to patient care.
The Road Ahead
Now that we are well on the path towards value-based care and Healthcare organizations are focusing intently on generating positive clinical outcomes, it is more important than ever that all providers across the continuum have complete transparency on the matters of care delivery everywhere. Having providers on the same page will aid in reducing all the challenges that are likely to emerge: readmissions, unplanned ED visits, and whatnot. Building Healthcare for patients that thrives on real-time information exchange may seem like a far-fetched idea right now, but it’s easily going to be a way of life before we know it!
Abhinav Shashank is the CEO and Co-founder of Innovaccer Inc., a leading data activation platform company. Abhinav has also been recognized in ‘Forbes- 30 Under 30 Asia 2017: Enterprise Tech’ and recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the ‘Top 50 rising leaders in US Healthcare under 40.’