Healthcare practices today typically have a heterogeneous mix of IT systems, including multiple EMRs. Though these systems were meant to be designed and implemented to share data, most were designed only to share primarily billing data – not clinical information in context. The majority of these IT systems were not created to share data with each other or with clinicians and physicians in any way that is meaningful to quality healthcare. This lack of information means that clinicians and physicians often don’t have the information they need to optimize patient care, and the practice doesn’t have the analytics it needs to optimize workflows and task assignments.
In order to survive and be successful in the modern era of healthcare, health practices must streamline processes, optimize resource utilization and continue to improve patient care. The foundation of this model is data sharing through effective interoperability software that can bridge IT systems—regardless of age, make or model—and can share information in concise, actionable formats. But what is true interoperability and how can it help a health practice attain its goals?
True semantic interoperability means that IT systems can share data regardless of the vendor, age or type. It also means that data is sortable and presents in a way that is meaningful for clinicians and physicians. True interoperability means, for example, that a physician in Phoenix can see an entire EEG performed by a clinician in Miami at an entirely different practice, with access to relevant information and history that puts that exam in context. Most EMR systems today would only be able to share a snapshot of that EEG, and the attending physician would have to know it exists to even get that small amount of clinical data.
A clinical data sharing software tool that is vendor, software, and hardware agnostic benefits the entire practice and makes it possible to move to the next level of cost and organizational efficiency, patient care and employee job satisfaction. Top benefits of a truly interoperable solution include:
Better Patient Care
A common complaint from physicians is that the practice has spent thousands on EMR systems but those systems have not enabled better patient care. Meaningful, timely data sharing helps physicians be better care providers. A software solution that provides semantic interoperability also enables clinicians and physicians to give better patient care by giving them visibility into all the relevant clinical data that pertains to their patients. When physicians and clinicians are able to improve patient care, their job satisfaction improves and they’re more likely to hit incentive goals – an ability of growing importance in today’s administrative models.
Cost Containment and Savings
An agnostic software solution allows you to leverage your existing IT and avoid massive investments in systems that can only work with like systems. With an agnostic system, there’s no reason to “rip and replace” what you already have. Instead, you can keep your legacy systems in maintenance mode and use agnostic software as a bridge. This ability helps the practice avoid server sprawl and reduce IT footprint.
Though many practices are performing some level of operational analytics, most are taking an ineffective one-size-fits-all approach to all systems. Analytics are useless to the practice if they aren’t presented in context and don’t form a clear picture of next-steps. Without context, administrators are overwhelmed by random information and either waste time struggling to interpret the onslaught themselves, misinterpret data, or simply ignore it all together. A truly interoperable software solution performs analytics across all systems in the practice and provides the analytics the practice needs to make decisions and improvements going forward.
Any software implementation that burdens the practice’s IT staff to the point it negatively impacts other efforts, employee job satisfaction, patient care, and the business, may do more harm than good. Today’s health practice IT staff is already stretched to the breaking point, and finding spare cycles to implement new software is nearly impossible without compromising quality care, employee work-life balance and critical business efforts. Compressus provides implementation services that take the strain off of the IT department, and helps them define workflows, configure systems and interoperability. Our services can also include monitoring and remote support.