The current state of healthcare data can be summarized with one word: fragmented.
There are several issues associated with siloed data. When data is hidden in isolated databases, incompatible systems, and proprietary software rather than in an accessible, interoperable system, data becomes much more difficult to exchange, analyze, and interpret. In turn, operational efficiency decreases, patient satisfaction deteriorates, and health information exchange (HIE) becomes more complex and time-consuming.
Healthcare facilities need a private, secure, and unified approach for exchanging, capturing, storing, and retrieving data and documents known as interoperability. Interoperability refers to the ability of two or more disparate health information systems to communicate and make use of data within and across different organizations to enhance information management and advance the effective delivery of healthcare for patients.
Before discussing the extensive benefits of achieving healthcare interoperability, let's take a look at a few insightful data points that highlight the pressing need for improved data management:
- One in five healthcare providers report that patients have been harmed due to record mismatches, exemplifying the need to improve patient care.
- Healthcare organizations employ between 0.5 and nine full-time personnel to manage mismatched or unmatched patient records, signifying the need for greater operational efficiency.
Top 3 Benefits of Healthcare System Interoperability
Interoperable systems enable improved operational efficiency and a better experience for the patient. While streamlined medical processes and better patient care are the core benefits of interoperability in healthcare, secondary goals include improved care coordination, reduced administrative costs, decreased medical errors, robust data security, and easier invoicing.
Healthcare organizations need to recognize the importance of interoperability, the primary challenges barring effective implementation, and the extensive benefits of implementing interoperable healthcare systems. Healthcare organizations equipped with this knowledge are better positioned to prioritize adopting a centralized and comprehensive content management system (CMS) that connects to health data and promotes patient-centric care.
Here are the top three benefits of healthcare system interoperability.
1. Improved Patient Care and Experience
A recent survey indicates that 52% of U.S health system executives and finance leaders believe data sharing between providers, payers, government, and industry will significantly improve patient care and experience. When physicians have access to real-time patient data integrated across the continuum of care (clinics, hospitals, senior care facilities, etc.), they have a more holistic view of the patient’s entire medical history, translating to the best possible care.
2. Reduced Administrative Costs
Healthcare providers spend excessive time faxing and coordinating health information exchange. In fact, more than one-third of healthcare costs in the U.S are administrative. Achieving interoperability enables healthcare organizations to reduce the number of full-time employees required for time-consuming manual processes such as data entry and managing mismatched or unmatched patient records. When hospital staff is free from tasks that require time-consuming, error-prone manual work, they can better spend their time on tasks that directly reduce healthcare costs and improve quality.
3. Decreased Medical Errors
When healthcare providers rely on manual document processes, health data and document management become complex, time-consuming, and prone to human error. Data entry errors often lead to duplicate medical records, duplicate tests, and other inefficiencies that cost healthcare organizations time and money. Reducing paperwork for staff and eliminating the need for manual data entry helps minimize physician burnout and reduce the possibility of medical errors.
Healthcare organizations can prevent errors due to missing or incomplete patient data by implementing interoperable systems that capture and interpret data across systems and applications. A single comprehensive content management system (CMS) will automate workflows, minimize document errors, and, most importantly, deliver a reliable, error-free diagnostic.
Improve Patient Care with Intelligent Information Management Services
Creating a unified, interoperable environment for health data is a top priority for healthcare organizations as the demand for simplified medical information access from consumers continues to increase.
Healthcare facilities should partner with trusted, intelligent information management specialists to implement a document management system tailored to their healthcare organization. Technologies like content management systems help healthcare providers connect to health and social care data, digitize patient care, and simplify data exchange, putting true interoperability within reach.