Innovative Healthcare Solutions | Abhinav Shashank | RxEconsult

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Innovative Healthcare Solutions Category: Digital Technology by - November 22, 2016 | Views: 19804 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

Interoperability Standards

Although this eight-syllable word has been healthcare’s Holy Grail, it has no standard definition with respect to health care. The HIMSS board on April 5, 2013, finalized a definition:

“Interoperability means the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of health care for individual communities.”

System interoperability involves the capacity for multiple devices and systems to exchange and interpret data between them and making the process of information sharing easier than ever. So far, interoperability has been aiding and there is still a whole lot to explore. According to a report by the National Health Information Exchange and Interoperability report, 80% of the providers were able to increase their efficiency with extensive electronic data exchanges and the number stretched as high as 89% when providers were asked if they were able to improve their patient’s quality of care. To improve their patient population’s safety and security, it is important to have these systems in sync with the latest technology and security standards.

Secondly, it is well known that healthcare costs have been on the rise. The introduction of The Affordable Care Act has drastically reduced the rate of increase in costs: the average annual increase in health care costs was 9%, from 1980 to 2008 and is estimated to drop down to 5.8% annually over the next decade. Although this is a significant drop, a better number can be realized with a shift toward interoperability, saving no less than $30 billion from wasteful expenditures.

It is obvious that the healthcare industry needs system interoperability all the way. What remains to be seen is how willing are healthcare organizations for this major transformation, and how will this change be brought about.

Precision Medicine

With the use of big data, healthcare systems are now making themselves accountable for their patient populations, and they have shifted their focus to intricate details: what kind of drugs, devices or technologies are most required by a patient. To treat a patient better, it’s always helpful for physicians to have a better insight into the environmental, social, and behavioral aspects of a patient. Following this, President Obama launched the Precision Medicine Initiative in January 2015, making PMI into a promise to deliver individualized care. $215 million were raised in 2016 F.Y. to support the initiative. $130 million of the funds raised was given to National Institutes of Health to a large-scale research group and $70 million was allocated to The National Cancer Institute to develop precision medicine for cancer.

Patient-centric Care 

If there is still anything that is hindering the progress in health care, it’s patchy care coordination. Health IT-driven care coordination still seems far-fetched: according to a study of 350 clinicians, only 49% used health IT systems for timely acknowledgments of hospital discharges. Greater use of health IT to support care coordination is deemed important by most, but less than half of the practices surveyed were actually implementing it on a practical level. It is not just about clinical data integration and notifying discharges; it’s also a way to control the surge in cost. With better quality of patient care, the gaps would be filled in, making the entire process cost-effective and efficient.

With the access to real-time socioeconomic data and interoperability providing new opportunities, it is possible to have a complete and intricate view of a patient’s profile by combining the data with EHR and PHM tools. The eventual goal is to develop and have a patient database that can be accessed anywhere, anytime and would result in providing the right care, at the right time, the first time, and to the right patient. With data analytics booming, the dream of having a holistic view of a patient and providing healthcare correctly might be realized soon.

Innovative solutions really are coming up in every aspect of the healthcare industry and technology and analytics are just one of the many ways to bridge the gaps and reduce redundancy. It now falls on the entities involved to embrace the change and get on board with the change and make quality healthcare affordable and accessible.


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