HealthWare Systems Blog
Interoperability in Healthcare and Its Effect on The Patient Experience
They say today, we’re more connected than ever… with the Internet, social media, and instant access to the latest news and data, this theory seems logical; yet, it’s a very different story when it comes to patient data and interoperability in healthcare. How is it that in the Information Age, so many patients voice frustrations concerning access to and exchange of their medical information?
The constant stream of information sent to and from hospitals and third parties (including insurance companies and other providers) is never-ending, so the ability to integrate healthcare data is crucial to a facility’s workflow.
Unfortunately, the patient experience is full of delays and frustrations as hospitals continue to struggle with interoperability in healthcare. In fact, research posted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology found that only 46% of hospitals had required patient information from outside providers or sources available electronically at the point of care.
Often, patients are forced to wait for care (sometimes while in pain) until certain documents are found, fill out new forms that ask for the same information for each new provider they see, re-explain their medical situation or symptoms over and over to each new doctor (and perhaps undergo the same tests they’ve already had done at another facility), and/or sort out insurance headaches before or after receiving care.
The patient experience is incredibly diminished when patients have to wait too long, repeat their situations to each provider they see, or deal with insurance hitches. These aggravations are especially frustrating to patients who know that technology exists which can integrate healthcare data and achieve interoperability in healthcare, so that the patient experience need not suffer.
In fact, more and more patients are coming to this realization: better interoperability in healthcare could vastly improve the patient experience. And this trend is sure to continue; considering their affinity for and familiarity with technology, Millennials and any generations that follow will come to expect interoperability in healthcare. If they can instantaneously transfer information online with the click of a button, why can’t their hospital integrate healthcare data? Maybe it’s not that simple from the healthcare industry’s perspective, but from the patients’, it should be.
When patients are dealing with pain or other health concerns, the last thing they should have to worry about is whether or not their providers have the ability to integrate healthcare data or share it effectively with another site. Guarantee that interoperability is not an issue, and you are sure to improve the patient experience.