Interoperability for Real; It’s Finally Here

Guest post by Sanjeev Agrawal, president, LeanTaaS Healthcare.  

Sanjeev Agrawal
Sanjeev Agrawal

Interoperability will be healthcare IT’s biggest trend in 2016 as the industry finally sees momentous forward movement.

In fact, interoperability is not a new trend. It has been an important mission (and a challenge) for healthcare administrators for decades, but the past couple of years have been game-changing:

This is a revolutionary step in healthcare with unprecedented regulatory advancements, investment, and industry participation. When data follows the patient, it can truly leverage technology to deliver better care at a lower cost and improve the overall patient experience. With more than 50 percent of patients using their smartphone to monitor health and more than 50 percent of physicians using or wanting to use their smartphone to monitor patient health, seamless data sharing can truly change the way care is delivered.

This has been an innovation bottleneck for healthcare for many years. Healthcare hasn’t quite leveraged some of the biggest innovations in recent years (such as data mining, machine learning, image recognition, Internet of Things, mobile, etc.) to the fullest extent. When different systems can talk to each other and share patient data, one can truly leverage these technologies to create holistic, proactive and intelligent care that can be an order of magnitude better and billions of dollars cheaper. Every other industry has reaped benefits from these technological advances, and it’s about time healthcare benefited as well.

With growing demand, rising costs and bleak supply, healthcare is facing a looming crisis. More than $750 billion is wasted in unnecessary expenditure today. The technology is there to help save more lives, deliver better care, reduce costs and achieve a healthier America, but resolving the lack of interoperability is essential to making it all work. With increased regulatory and financial support, we’re on our way to making healthcare the way it should be — smarter, cheaper, more effective.

There is this myth that healthcare providers are slow to adopt new technology. That’s just not true. Pretty much every hospital CIO I talk to is frustrated by the lack of interoperability and excited about the future it can bring. Providers want to do whatever it takes to cut costs and improve patient access and experience. The systems landscape is so fragmented and complex that it’s not possible for them to make decisions easily. When data can be shared among systems, everything becomes simpler and more innovative.

One comment on “Interoperability for Real; It’s Finally Here”

Interesting as we have leveraged technology that is used in other industries (BPM) to provide a workflow tool that significantly reduces waste, increases efficiency of clinicians to reduce paper work and increase time with patients. Interoperability is achieved thru the push and pull of process information to and from other technologies, including the EMR. Additionally, it has a short learning and implementation curve and achieves an ROI in a very short period of time. The biggest push back we get is from IT who believes their EMR vendors already achieve this.

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