In recent years, the push for interoperability in healthcare software has quickly reached new heights.
Both healthcare providers and patients are focused on the two key technologies—electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs). Traditionally, EHRs were communicated through other systems and shared between organizations and while EMRs stayed private within a single healthcare organization, with EMRs typically preferred by hospitals and physicians alike.
Yet the trends have turned upside down. In 2011, for example, merely 28% of non-federal acute hospitals and 34% of office-based physicians had adopted EHRs; ten years later in 2021, the adoption of EHRs skyrocketed to 96% of hospitals and 78% of physicians. Advances in digital technology coupled with user-centric product development models pushed this forward. Moreover, new historic legislation that allows patients unfettered access to their health records just recently went into effect on October 6, 2022, with many seeing it as “data liberation day.”
So, what do these monumental shifts mean for healthcare businesses and products going forward? Here’s the main point to remember: EHR/EMR and medical device interoperability bring countless opportunities to increase revenue, decrease costs and save lives—all at the same time.
3 top benefits of interoperability in healthcare
Despite the difference between how EHRs and EMRs are used, integrating a system architecture that allows access to both will prove the most cost-effective for any healthcare product or business. The HealthTech experts highlight these three EHR/EMR interoperability solutions as the real game-changers:
● Scalable IT infrastructure: One of the major benefits of EHR interoperability with EMR data is that can have company-wide applications quickly and seamlessly. This can include anything from analytics software powered by AI to appointment scheduling and payments innovation—all with programs that champion the automation of redundant processes. Surprisingly, 87% of providers still leverage paper and manual processes for patient collections, which remains one of the biggest EHR interoperability challenges to this day. Digitally automating operations within a healthcare business integrates all patient data with EHR/EMR platforms and allows easier integration of system reformatting and upgrades.
● Better-informed and accurate diagnoses: By far, the goal of every healthcare product and business is its potential to save lives – and here there’s still significant room for improvement. A NCBI Report from 2021, which looks at medical error reduction and prevention, poses that misdiagnoses led to the injury or death of approximately 80,000 patients in the US alone. This is an alarming figure and one that healthcare interoperability can help rectify. If providers, no matter the location, could have seamless access to any single patient’s complete health records – including previous appointments, scans, images, and results from past treatments – these would allow them to properly consolidate and analyze the necessary data in time and prevent possible misdiagnoses. This is a huge win when it comes to HealthTech solutions.
● Decreased costs: Again, bringing EMR interoperability standards to match regulated EHR software will mean higher overall efficiency for any healthcare business in the long-term. A few concrete examples are: it not only simplifies the process for holistic software upgrades but also provides a quicker, digital response to regulatory compliance and audits; transforming manual, paper processes to automated software means staff can serve more patients; and better transparency leads to better patient satisfaction and retention plus less potential for malpractice lawsuits—all translating to higher profit potential.
Spearheading EMR interoperability solutions for 2023
While we’ve put a spotlight on the main advantages of digitizing health data, this barely scratches the surface of the many opportunities that arise by crafting your own interoperable healthcare platform. HealthTech technology consulting is a necessary first step in identifying value-driven workflows and solutions that fit your operations, no matter how big or small. These digital needs are met even more broadly through Star, which bolsters organizations and businesses on every continent as they modernize, evolve, and lead a new user-centric era.
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