The new era of interoperability
Infor recently sponsored a webinar that covered the history, current state, and future of the interoperability landscape in our industry. It had a lot of great information from the experts at Forrester and Healthcare Innovation, and I encourage everyone to check it out, as I can’t do it justice in this short blog.
It started with some grim statistics that point to why focusing on interoperability has become an industry necessity. For example, while the US spends $3.5 trillion annually on healthcare (17 percent of the nation’s GDP) life expectancy is not increasing. In fact, it has fallen for the last three years. And, according to Forrester’s research, most US consumers rate their care as “poor.”
This is especially concerning as we see the industry becoming more consumer-driven, not only in-patient mediated data exchange, but in rapid changes in available care venues. Patients are not only more concerned than ever about the price of procedures, thanks to high-deductible health plans, but there are more non-traditional players entering the market, including retail clinics and in-home care providers. This has created a demand for data liquidity–the ability to exchange data across systems and locations more rapidly and efficiently than ever before.
Consumerism is the driver that could be addressed with a mature, interoperable system that connects payers, providers, consumers, third-party service providers, and all of the various venues of care. What results is a true healthcare ecosystem with data available in real time.
As our webinar presenter, Jeff Becker, explained, 50 percent of providers will query networks for key patient information such as imaging, lab results, and diagnostic tests they may not have in their own EHR. Forrester also found that physicians participating in a value-based care model, which is becoming increasingly common, are twice as likely to send and receive information with outside providers. But there is still a lot of untapped interoperability potential.
Even government is getting in on the interoperability act. The 21st Century Cures Act is a federal law which defines interoperability and mandates, among other things, establishing Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) API as the required standard for all data exchange. Recent CMS and ONC NPRMs addressed Payer exchange of information with patients, providers and other payers, as well as certification requirements and information blocking constraints on the part of vendors and data holders.
With all eyes on interoperability as the future of healthcare, Infor remains dedicated to continuing innovation with Infor Cloverleaf Suite. The result is connected health that lights up the healthcare ecosystem and flows data among all stakeholders, including the patient.
- Jerry Rankin, Strategy Director, Healthcare Interoperability