What You Need to Know About Interoperability

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What is Interoperability?

Interoperability is defined as the ability of systems and devices to exchange and interpret data. Many states use Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) which allow providers and patients to access and share electronic medical information. The real-time sharing of health information among an individual’s integrated care team, including providers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, and others, allows for a 360-degree view of a person’s history to improve outcomes, increase transparency and efficiency, and empower individuals. The ability to view social and human services data in tandem with medical information to provide care that is informed by all of an individual’s experiences.

For over three decades, both the public and private sectors have encouraged the development of interoperable health information technology (HIT) to improve clinical and population health outcomes, increase quality and safety, decrease cost, and allow for more robust research data.

Most recently in the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2016, an entire section is dedicated to the interoperability of health information technology. Interoperable HIT is defined by the act as such that it “enables the secure exchange of electronic health information with, and use of health information from, other health information technology without special effort on the part of the user,” and “allows for complete access, exchange, and use of all electronically accessible health information for authorized use under applicable State or Federal law.” Additionally, the act allocates funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop new standards with stakeholders and includes language to discourage information blocking by vendors.

Why Do We Need It?

Shifts in human service delivery models across the country are moving towards managed care, integrated care management, and conflict-free case management. As the landscape changes, more states are requiring their provider agencies to implement electronic health records (EHRs) in an effort to improve quality care and support, decrease costs, and streamline procedures.

Without the ability for bi-directional information exchange between disparate agencies, the burden is on the individual to keep an up to date record of their entire health and wellness history. If an individual falls and is sent to the hospital, their care manager may not be aware of the incident until their next visit. When our health information technology systems can exchange data, the care manager would be aware of the fall and could promptly follow up to ensure the individual has the proper supports to prevent readmittance to the hospital.

Benefits of Interoperability:

  • Improve safety by reducing errors
  • Streamline procedures by eliminating superfluous paperwork
  • Engage the individual and their circle of supports in the health information process
  • Reduce overall medical costs
  • Allow for more robust data across populations
  • Improve quality and outcomes

How MediSked Can Help

At its heart, interoperability provides for a more person-centered experience as the individual can be viewed as a whole to create more seamless, quality care. This aligns directly with our mission to improve lives, drive efficiencies, and generate innovations for human service organizations that support our community.

MediSked’s electronic solutions are integrated to allow for distribution and review of critical data in real-time. Our solutions support data integration with Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) and can be used for reporting, operation-level, real-time updates on appointments, diagnoses, hospitalizations, and more. MediSked Portal supports information sharing among individuals, providers, and their authorized circles of supports, making the entire process more person-centered and self-directed.

If you’re interested in learning more about how MediSked’s solutions can help your agency, please fill out a demo form.

Sarat Aduru

Sarat Aduru

Sarat is the Director of MediSked's Interface & Analytics Consulting Practice. He has worked at MediSked since June 2017.

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