As interoperability still stymies healthcare IT, plug and play middleware use grows

The lack of EHR interoperability continues to pose a serious threat to healthcare initiatives, according to a recent report published by the American Hospital Association (AHA).  The report discusses the various aspects of the healthcare industry and care delivery that are negatively impacted by a lack of interoperability.

The report notes that the exchange of health information is critical for the coordination of care.  When patients receive care from multiple different providers, physicians should be able to securely send relevant patient information to the practicing physician. However, that tends not to be the case because EHR systems are not interoperable and cannot exchange information.

Last year, The ECRI Institute released a survey outlining the Top Ten Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations in 2015. The second highest concern was incorrect or missing data in EHRs and other health IT systems caused by interoperability.  For the second year in a row, EHR data is identified as a concern. 

The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety, a branch of the ECRI Institute, has released safe practice recommendations for using the copy and paste function in EHRs that can adversely affect patient safety, such as the use of copy and paste that can overpopulate data and make relevant information difficult to locate, according to the partnership’s announcement.

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EHR, electronic health record, interoperability, MACRA, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, middleware, Zoeticx

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