Why HIT Interoperability with Community Providers Needs to be a Top Priority for Health
Tom Skorup began the presentation with an anecdote. He was having eye problems and went to a specialist who prescribed some eye drops. Unfortunately the drops started stinging his eyes. He went to get a second opinion and the specialist gave him a different prescription, except those eye drops were even worse. Finally he went to a doctor he knew from work for advice who said, “Oh, you have a sulfa allergy.”
Tom’s optometrist couldn’t know about this because of the lack of interoperability. This example shows the present challenge for Healthcare: Decentralized Patient Data Collection leads to islands. There is opportunity to improve process efficiency and variety as well as clinical outcomes. Several initiatives require interoperability: Patient Centered Medical Home, Meaningful Use, ACOs, etc.
John Evans has 20 years experience in Healthcare assisting providers. He presented powerful statistical evidence showing how our delivery systems for Healthcare is fractured and therefore highly redundant. 40% of outpatients unnecessarily use antibiotics, but only 54.9% of patients receive the care recommended to them. Americans see 1.3 to 13.8 of providers annually and 1 in 10 tests were ordered for the same patient by more than one physician. Lacking systems that talk to each other means patient data is not available 81% of the time, and 18% of medical errors lead to ADEs, are due to missing information.
Healthcare reform is a huge issue in the nation and therefore has gained high prioritization. These measures are accelerating interoperability, but its important to note that it is more than just providing data integrity and security: it is also about improving patient care. More research information can be found at www.ecri.org/hie .