Driving care coordination is an essential aspect to provide quality of care to the patient who are transitioning from one healthcare system to others. Smooth transition of healthcare data between those healthcare systems, strengthens the level of care and reduces the multiple cost behind it. Therefore, it is well said that Interoperability is the heart of care coordination.
Despite the growth in Electronic Health Record (EHR) and technology adoption in healthcare organizations, hospitals, and clinics, there is a huge communication gap between the systems. Therefore, these systems continue to contribute to data silos that make interoperability a significant challenge, and hence care coordination drops off the slide without even getting noticed.
Shifting healthcare systems towards coordinated care settings and tying them together under one communication channel, where one system can seamlessly exchange data with another, under full privacy and security, is the hardest part of the healthcare ecosystem.
Let’s see how we can streamline interoperability to drive care coordination.
- Point to point integration links the sender system directly with the receiver, via a specialized interface code provided by the vendor.
- Point to point integration simply implies that a transient message sent from a data source such as a cloud computing EHR hosting center, to a data recipient such as an e-prescribing gateway, a healthcare information exchange, or payer.
- The language of each message sent, won’t be affected when it reaches to the receiver.
Challenges with point to point integration:
- It does not work for complex scenarios such as an emergency department requesting for the lifetime clinical record of a person from all the places their data exists in the country.
- Auditing the clinical records between two organizations based on transient messages is more challenging
- Recreating a damaged clinical record by replaying transient messages from an interface engine is harder.
- Since each connection requires its own set of codes, point to point integration becomes quite expensive and the security of information is also a considerable challenge.
Application programming interface (API):
- Information exchange is more organized than point-to-point connections.
- API binds together different systems to allow secure data exchange that doesn’t rely on static, document-based exchange.
- API likely uses different languages, so one system can’t fully consume and use information from another system.
- Using open API providers and patients can collect, analysis and access healthcare information and make updates.
- Using the right tools, providers can interact with each other and can access critical information at the point of care.
- Open APIs can help providers to have easy and efficient access to a particular clinical data that supports their decision making with more informed choices.
Challenges with API development:
- As time passes, API becomes more and more inefficient until they are not allowed to merge with newer technologies.
- The shortage of API developers, without a vibrant developer crafting APIs is difficult.
- The lack of effective tools for designing, testing, and monitoring APIs.
- API development requires constant feedback and reviewing.
Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR):
- FHIR is a data standard designed to encourage patient data portability and accessibility.
- FHIR uses universally structured data to assist in automated clinical decision support and machine-based processing.
- Several trends are driving the adoption of FHIR in healthcare, most significant of them is a need for real-time access to clinical data via APIs.
- FHIR is a simplified but powerful reinvention of CCDA, HL7 v3, and HL7 v2.
- FHIR works on the same web technology as social media, e-commerce websites and search engines, so sharing data scattered across multiple systems, in real-time isn’t difficult.
- FHIR doesn’t have to undergo any modifications for any information-exchange protocol- REST, HL7, or CCDA.
Challenges with FHIR:
- If different versions of FHIR are implemented in different systems, the two systems aren’t actually interoperable at all.
- When EHR vendors don’t implement all available FHIR APIs – or if they don’t implement the entire API, then it results in inconsistency. These inconsistencies undermine the goal of achieving interoperability.
Direct Secure Messaging:
- Direct secure messaging is a digital messaging tool similar to email.
- It is used to communicate pharmacy prescriptions, referrals, admissions, discharges, transfers, automated push-event notifications, and even messaging directly to patients.
Challenges with Direct Secure Messaging:
- Many people find Direct Secure Messaging complicated and not user-friendly.
- Sending a message requires a unique Direct address and knowing your recipient’s address and therefore – providers, insurers, and labs aren’t direct users.
The best of the above-mentioned technologies promotes interoperability by connecting the entire healthcare ecosystem. Providers can send, receive, find, and access patient’s data to coordinate continuous care.
If you are here looking for data interoperability software to improve easy and secure data exchange with other providers, laboratories, pharmacies, immunization/disease registries, and many more then you must have a demo of iPatientCare’s Interoperability software.