Instead of continuing to add fixes on top of a broken system, healthcare needs to create a new, better system—a system built with a new kind of interoperability.
Positive momentum is happening in healthcare interoperability. The topic seems to garner headlines every day, with a few in our newsletter this month. It’s almost as if interoperability has recently ignited after years of moving at a snail’s pace.
I’m challenging healthcare to think differently about how we work together. More is to be gained by working together than by keeping data siloed. Achieving this type of interconnectivity requires a nationwide healthcare network that allows all participants to share information, collaborate, and launch solutions for all of healthcare. This type of digital fabric can combine disparate data for a more complete patient profile and the related administrative data needed for the business of healthcare. This level of interconnectivity can tear down the barriers in healthcare for business and people.
While there seems to be so much chaos in the world right now, it’s important that we don’t overlook the really great things happening in healthcare. It’s time to celebrate the possibilities, then roll up our sleeves and work together to make them a reality.
CEO, Avaneer Health
Imagine our country without interstate highways, where each city has to build its own roads to every other city. The costs and resources needed to create such a micro-network infrastructure would be monumental. Yet, this is the scenario playing out in healthcare as payers, providers and suppliers build one-to-one pipelines with each other to exchange data. There has to be a better way. Imagine our country without interstate highways, where each city has to build its own roads to every other city. The costs and resources needed to create such a micro-network infrastructure would be monumental. Yet, this is the scenario playing out in healthcare as payers, providers and suppliers build one-to-one pipelines with each other to exchange data. There has to be a better way.
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Just as clinical interoperability creates efficiency and a better healthcare experience, greater administrative interoperability could help eliminate many of the costs related to billing and insurance. The healthcare industry needs to expand its view of interoperability to include administrative data and embrace innovation in this area.
Many of the challenges in our U.S. healthcare system could be solved through data fluidity and interoperability. We could reduce administrative costs, improve access to timely care, enhance the patient experience, and save billions of dollars each year. While efforts have been ongoing toward this end, today’s more advanced technology provides an opportunity to achieve true, industry-wide interoperability much faster.
After receiving more than 800 public comments, the ONC has released the United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 3 (USCDI v3), which adds 24 data elements among these classes: health insurance information, health status/assessments, laboratory, medications, patient demographics/information, and procedures. The addition allows the capturing and sharing of healthcare insurance coverage in a standardized way.
In 2019, 65% of physicians surveyed said they exchange patient health information electronically with providers outside their organization, while 35% said they still rely primarily on fax (paper or electronic) and mail for information exchange. An even more common barrier, 85% reported challenges electronically exchanging information with providers using a different EHR.
Read more eye-opening findings from the ONC’s report on interoperability progress among physician offices.
In an industry where new solutions often bring with them even greater complexities, the tide is—finally—turning. What started as a conversation between a tech giant and one of our nation’s largest banks has become a healthcare consortium of industry powerhouses. The goal? To create a network where all healthcare stakeholders can seamlessly collaborate, share data, and build innovative solutions to create the healthcare ecosystem of tomorrow.
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