Before investing in new interoperability solutions, executives need to consider technology that won’t be an added workload burden for employees and other healthcare providers, says Joel Chakra, head of marketing for CrossChx, a healthcare IT company that focuses on artificial intelligence solutions.
The goal of technology is being lost in the bells and whistles, Chakra says. Instead of technology being used as a way to make workflow simple and increase time with patients, many providers are getting stuck behind screens in order to capture data.
“Humans have become the routers of information, inputting data, then transferring it from one system to another, while taking away precious time that can be focused on direct-patient care. For these reasons, interoperability needs to be at the top of the C-suite’s mind,” Chakra says, adding that executives need to make mindful decisions before employing another tech tool for providers to implement in order to reach interoperability goals.
“Adding yet another solution that your staff is required to manually operate does not equal interoperability,” Chakra says. “If a C-suite executive wants true interoperability, they will need to think beyond the traditional off-the-shelf products that require integrations and wasted time from both IT and patient access staff.”
Here are four things healthcare executives should consider before investing in an interoperability strategy:
1. Person-centered interoperability
Though data exchange between healthcare entities continues to be important, creating processes for patients to also exchange and manage data has to be a priority, too, says Chakra.
“Patients should also have the ability to share their health information with an organization regardless of systems and EHRs,” Chakra says. “There are already measures in place for information to be shared from provider-to-provider, but there need to be more measures in place for patients to share information with providers, because they are also good stewards of their own information.”
2. Communicating with organizations that lack technology
Behavioral healthcare, long-term care, rural or smaller providers that have different or outdated technology leads to issues with care continuity that can be an interoperability challenge, Chakra says.
“Because of these disparate systems, it can become difficult to track a patient throughout the continuum of care; from primary care providers, to hospital visits, to behavioral health clinics, long term care facilities, and so on,” Chakra says, adding that any technology investments should include tools that make it easier for staff to communicate with systems that may be less technologically advanced.