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The Importance of EHR Interoperability in the Healthcare Industry

Last updated on June 20th, 2023 at 09:52 am

EHR (Electronic Health Record) is a platform used to securely and conveniently store the health records of a patient digitally. The technology was developed to replace the traditional methods that relied on a paper chart.

The platform comes in handy when providing information as well as functionalities through which medical personnel can access test results and medical histories of their patients. 

EHR differs from EMR (Electronic Medical Record) in that it provides information with regards to all the aspects of medical care instead of focussing on the treatments and medical history of a patient. It can even be shared between different health providers to ensure that patient data is accessible with ease.

What is EHR Interoperability

Before defining EHR interoperability, it is important to understand what interoperability is. It is a term used to refer to systems that can integrate for the sole purpose of data exchange.

EHR interoperability, on the other hand, refers to the ability of healthcare organizations to transfer health care information and medical records from one system or provider to another with ease.

Even though different healthcare providers have implemented different ways through which their systems can exchange data, the EHR is one of the most secure and easiest options. It is known for its efficiency and lack of information blocking.

Importance of EHR Interoperability

The healthcare industry, as well as patients, benefit from the interoperability of EHR systems in many ways, for instance;

Eases the Work of Providers

Before technological advancements, healthcare professionals waited for considerable amounts of time before getting paper records of their patients. This not only delayed services to patients but also hindered the professionals from getting the actual picture of their patients.

As a result, reports of inaccurate diagnosis of patients as well as poor treatment plans were very high. However, EHR interoperability has so far changed this. With these systems, healthcare providers can access reliable patient data whenever they need it without any problems.

This eliminates the chances of errors when diagnosing and treating patients. As a result, this has improved the quality of health care and reduced lawsuits associated with incorrect diagnosis and treatment.

Reduces Unnecessary Costs

EHR interoperability has played a crucial role in helping healthcare organizations reduce unnecessary costs. To start with, the effectiveness of these systems ensures that healthcare professionals avoid any malpractices that would lead to their organizations paying hefty fines.

In addition, healthcare organizations can see more patients with the use of an interoperable EHR system. This is because they do not spend a lot of time going through paper records to get patient data. In return, this brings in more money.

When a patient visits a healthcare organization with an EHR, their historical data is retrieved immediately. With its accuracy, these organizations can incorporate AI in healthcare services for things such as predictive care and clinical diagnosis.

This eliminates some procedures such as testing since they can see the tests that that particular patient has already gone through, saving operational costs.

Patients’ Access to Data

Every patient would like to get services from a healthcare organization that keeps accurate and complete data. This is important especially when a patient knows that their medical records can be accessed from anywhere.

When a patient moves to a new place to stay or even work, they do not need to go back to their original healthcare provider when they need healthcare services. Instead, patients should be able to get services from a new provider.

With EHR interoperability, the new provider can easily and within no time gain access to the patients’ medical records. This leads to faster treatments and eliminates any errors that might occur.

Communication

Communication is important when it comes to the interoperability of EHR systems. Interoperability makes it possible for systems to communicate and share medical records easily.

Without EHR interoperability, systems would share data but some of them would find it difficult to decode the shared data. This would lead to inaccurate patient data, misdiagnosis, and poor or inaccurate treatment plans. 

In conclusion, embracing technology is one of the most important tips for healthcare industry entrepreneurs. This is because it has created avenues through which the healthcare industry can improve the quality of services provided to patients. 

EHR interoperability is one of them, and the increased adoption of these systems has seen a reduction in health complications among patients. Healthcare providers are also reaping a lot of benefits, such as the ones discussed above.

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