In recent years, healthcare professionals have been seeking to install electronic health records (EHRs), reach meaningful use requirements and meet ICD-10 compliance. Along with all of these technological challenges, medical experts have begun emphasizing the need to share and exchange patient information more readily through a streamlined process.
For instance, a hospital consultant would recommend that a healthcare organization be able to exchange information quickly and efficiently between nurses, doctors, emergency care departments, laboratories and pharmacies. A new method for sharing data has been called the health information exchange (HIE) and it encompasses a large network of computers and devices that can stay connected through one system.
Healthcare IT News reported that a study released by the Bipartisan Policy Center shows that consistent EHR implementation is necessary for the exchange of information. One of the biggest challenges regarding the sharing of patient data cited by 71 percent of polled physicians encompass the lack of interoperability and HIE functionality at their respective medical facilities.
The findings also showed that many Medicare patients are left with fragmented care, as these consumers see seven different doctors from four separate clinics, on average. This type of care - without the appropriate HIE system installed - has led to misdiagnosis, hospitalizations, duplicative testing, more treatment than necessary and wasted costs. However, with a functional HIE system, healthcare consultants find that these problems subside, as these doctors have a greater means of communication.
"Lack of care coordination results in both gaps and duplications in care and often leads to overtreatment, costing the United States between $148 and $226 billion annually," a press release issued by the Bipartisan Policy Center mentioned.
Medical providers would be wise to partner with a healthcare IT consulting professional when in need of better systems for sharing patient information among departments.