In a 2016 study commissioned by Quest Diagnostics, 450 healthcare professionals and senior executives were surveyed about aspects of the industry’s shift from a fee-for-service to a value-based model. The results of the study bring several interesting pieces of data to light.
87% of the study’s respondents — physicians and senior executives — noted the value and importance of having complete patient medical information at the point of care. However, 65% of physician respondents indicated that the information available in the clinical setting is still lacking or deficient. What’s more, there was general consensus regarding the main causes:
- 78% indicated the inability to share information between multiple providers with different EHR systems
- 74% cited lack of interoperability
- 37% noted a lack of integration capabilities with current workflows
In addition, an overwhelming 90% of respondents recognized the potential negative impact that incomplete patient information can have at the point of care.
While the health IT market continues to innovate and leverage technologies, it seems that this foundational problem of insufficient data sharing and interoperability within the healthcare space has yet to be resolved. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published its Interoperability Roadmap in hopes of achieving a fully-integrated, national health IT network aimed at improving clinical decision making and care outcomes while reducing the overall cost of care for patients, payers and providers by 2024. Whether this will happen is yet to be seen. Protocols for information sharing like FHIR and HL7 are putting the industry on the right path, as is the growing trend toward the creation of APIs to enable integration between systems. In the meantime, it is necessary that senior healthcare executives address the problem of information silos and gaps in patient clinical information by working with health IT innovators to create solutions that enable integration and interoperability.