2. Intelligent interoperability
The industry is focusing on improving interoperability in efforts to utilize technology to break down silos between payers, providers and patients. But in the next five to 10 years, the concept of interoperability could become less about the transmission of data and more about how actionable it is.
Dave Lareau, CEO of Medicomp Systems, says that intelligent interoperability will help identify and interpret disorganized and complex data from multiple sources. High-value information can then be filtered as part of a provider’s work flow to support clinical decision-making in the exam room.
“With intelligent interoperability, providers don’t just have data, but actionable information that is structured and organized in a way that facilitates viewing across clinical settings and domains,” Lareau says. “Clinicians can access the precise information they need, when they need it, during patient encounters and within their normal work flows across the continuum of care.”
The large amount of data generated by EHR systems is often disorganized, redundant, in multiple formats, and therefore, unusable, Lareau says. “To achieve intelligent interoperability, providers need solutions that sift through this wealth of data, eliminate all the other clinical static, and make the right information available at the right time in the care process,” Lareau says. “Unless organizations have the ability to contextually filter data, physicians will struggle to identify the precise information that is relevant to each specific patient and their known or suspected clinical issues.”
The good news is that Lareau predicts that healthcare organizations will not have to replace their current EHR systems to achieve intelligent interoperability. Instead, interoperability standards including Fast Health Interoperability Resources and Clinical Document Architecture will require more seamless data exchange.
“For example, data that comes from another provider must be coded to a usable standard. One way to achieve this is by leveraging technology that intelligently identifies, interprets, and links medical concepts and maps them to standard nomenclature, such as ICD-10, SNOMED, RxNorm, or LOINC,” he says. “The data can then be easily merged with existing information and made actionable at the point of care. In addition, when clinicians create new data through the documentation process, they need tools that facilitate the capture of high quality data in structured formats that are easily exchanged and interpreted with minimal manual intervention.”