Can you imagine what patient care would be without healthcare data integration? It will be chaotic.
Without the rapid exchange of electronic patient data between healthcare entities, there would be inaccurate diagnoses, low-quality treatment, and delayed claims. Severe agitation would take place in the board room. And the CIO’s job may even be on the line.
But regardless of how well connected some of your internal information systems may be at the moment, there’s still room for improvement.
A Center for Connected Medicine (CCM) study showed that a third of the respondents said their interoperability efforts were inadequate within their organizations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic places heavy demands on our information systems, there’s an urgent need to boost interoperability. That’s why we have compiled the following tips to help you improve data integration in your organization.
1. Take Advantage of Artificial Intelligence
Your facility may have a considerable volume of data locked up in your current EHR system and other legacy applications. But do you have the capacity to glean actionable insights from your data?
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers powerful tools to extract insights from your data and exchange them internally and externally for better patient care. Deploying AI will:
- Provide a complete analysis of a patients medical history
- Allow clinicians to make smarter diagnostic and treatment decisions
- Reduce the cost of future diagnostic testing
- Aid the communication of concise medical data between physicians and specialists during referrals
2. Empower Patients to Access their Data
Ideally, every clinician should have instant access to a patient’s complete medical history. However, this is not always feasible.
Sometimes, a patient may travel to a city where the clinics can’t link up with her primary care physician. But if she has a portal for her medical records or can access them through an app, she can show them to her new doctor.
While prominent EHR vendors like Epic are skeptical about healthcare apps that may share and sell data, the healthcare industry must find a way to improve patient access to their medical records.
That is why the Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S. made patient access to data an essential part of the strategic health IT plan for 2020 to 2025. It supports patients’ access to healthcare information through smartphone apps.
To improve patient access in your organization, you can do the following:
- Create and maintain a patient portal
- Educate patients through the portal
- Encourage patients to use the portal to monitor their health and communicate with their physician
3. Expand the Use of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)
An electronic HIE enables physicians, pharmacists, and nursing staff to access and share a patient’s medical data securely.
HIEs can expand care access, optimize EHR use, and improve telehealth capabilities. HIEs also enhance patient care by:
- Standardizing data for efficient exchange
- Improving the completeness of medical records
- Enhancing access to health data for rural dwellers and poorly served areas
- Improving responses to severe health crises like COVID-19
- Solving patient matching issues
- Preventing medication errors and reducing duplicate testing
4. Improve EHR Usability
When clinicians use a poorly designed EHR interface, interoperability suffers. Patient safety also takes a hit when doctors use a cluttered EHR interface or a complicated medication list.
Some of the things to consider when assessing an EHR’s usability include:
- Data integrity: the data entry process must be clean with consistent data input
- Decision support: applications can help physicians to make correct diagnoses and prescribe the right dose of medication
5. Deploy a Robust Interface Engine
An interface engine reduces the time for developing and maintaining interfaces. Instead of writing code for each point-to-point interface, your interface engine takes most of the programming burden off you.
Then you can increase your teams’ productivity. Many health IT developers have been amazed at the number of interfaces they can build within a week after deploying a well-designed interface engine.
Discover More Ways to Boost Healthcare Data Integration
You and your organization can enjoy the full benefits of data integration and interoperability. And it’s easier when you work with a healthcare integration expert. Contact Lifepoint Informatics at 877.522.8378 or reach us through our contact page now to book a free consultation.