The healthcare experts at OpenText are excited for HIMSS17 to share with health IT gurus a vision for better care coordination by optimizing patient information exchange.
The holy grail of better care coordination – and interoperability – is the secure exchange of information that results in better quality care and an improved experience for the patient, all delivered at lower cost. However, this goal is still elusive for most providers. Information systems used by healthcare organizations lock down information as a way to meet privacy requirements, and they do so without the tools that can make access by authenticated users easy and convenient.
Historically, standardized approaches to interoperability have left providers with the burden of creating complex and time-consuming 1:1 interfaces to share clinical information with care and business partners. However, recent regulatory incentives, particularly meaningful use, have started to make secure, electronic interoperability a requirement, while value-based contracting and business model changes that put providers at-risk for outcomes have begun to make network interoperability a business imperative. Vendors in collaboration with government are building newly available standards like Direct Messaging, which offer a low-cost, vendor-agnostic, approach to digital information exchange.
Care coordination is a complicated dance between providers and any misstep can cause irreparable implications to patient care. While some standards have been put in place to aid in increasing interoperability, low adoption rates in the healthcare community have stagnated real progress. However, transitioning to better forms of exchange by combining such technology as electronic fax, Direct messaging, and other forms of electronic exchange in a single solution increases care coordination across disparate providers.
For example, Direct messaging is a way for payers, providers and healthcare systems to securely share information, in a verified environment with unlimited points of connection. It is not a 1:1 model but enables any credentialed physician located anywhere to quickly send patient information to other trusted parties using a Direct address. Direct is designed to reduce administrative overhead, standardize transactions, and ensure that they occur quickly and securely in an auditable way.
As it stands today, better care coordination with standards such as Direct messaging can quickly and positively affect specific use cases, with the most common including:
- Referrals between organizations and clinicians
- Discharge summaries and lab results shared between facilities/labs and referring or primary-care providers
- Sending data to public health organizations
- Sharing of information upon transitions in care
- Sharing information with payers for prior authorization of services
Direct messaging is an important step towards the goal of an interoperable health system because of its inherent security and simplicity, as well as its low cost. In a network-based care environment, information sharing can help to prevent unnecessary and costly repeat tests and procedures, provide the information needed to create evidence-based care plans, and allow the execution of these plans using the network in the community. Information sharing can help reduce the burden on patients for transferring information, provide convenience when seeking care in multiple settings, and make positive outcomes more likely by reducing complications caused by impaired access to information.
However, solutions that provide Direct messaging in addition to other secure, electronic forms of exchange patient information are ideal for greater adoption within healthcare. A single, centralized platform by which to exchange electronic fax, Direct messages, and other forms of electronic exchange are paving the way to better patient care.
Want to learn more? Download the IDC Market Spotlight: The Rocky Road to Information Sharing in the Health System for more insights and information from IDC.