The patient journey looks much different today than it did several years ago. From diagnosis to treatment, most patients have many more stops along the way than ever before. They might visit a physician, diagnostic imaging center, hospital, outpatient rehab therapist, and the list goes on, before their care plan is complete. At each point, a patient generates a health record that becomes an imperative piece of his/her healthcare puzzle. And that data has to be accessible and exchangeable across their journey to ensure the best possible outcomes. At least, that’s the goal.
At the same time, providers across the spectrum of care are under intense pressure to deliver better care at a lower cost. With reimbursements, increasingly being tied to value, the healthcare community has experienced a major, and rapid, shift to a patient-centered, quality-driven care model –– one that is reliant on interoperability and the accessibility of patient data.
Indeed, seamless interoperability has now become a mission-critical part of the healthcare equation, as it reduces cost, improves care efficiency across the continuum of care, and puts the patient back at the center. But, achieving it is another story.
Challenges Facing Interoperability
While the current state of interoperability remains somewhat of a patchwork system, there has been some progress made. For instance, today, 93 percent of hospitals and health systems make records available to patients online, which is up from 27 percent in 2012, according to the 2019 “Sharing Data, Saving Lives: The Hospital Agenda for Interoperability” report, which was compiled by seven national hospital associations. And 88 percent of hospitals now actively share records with ambulatory care, where in the past a vast majority were left out of the equation.