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Interoperability in Healthcare: Closing the Gap between Patient Expectations and Reality

By Transcend Insights
Clinical, Health IT, Interoperability, Population Health & Wellness
Why is interoperability in healthcare difficult to achieve?
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Interoperability in Healthcare: Closing the Gap between Patient Expectations and Reality

By Transcend Insights

Executive Summary

While digital technology is ubiquitous in the world of healthcare, establishing interoperability between various technologies remains a challenge for many health systems. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), creating interoperability between electronic health records (EHRs) is important because it “enables better workflows and reduces ambiguity,” which permits better communication within a patient’s care team. Interoperability, the ONC notes, improves healthcare delivery “by making the right data available at the right time to the right people.”

Transcend Insights conducted a survey of adult patients across the U.S. and found that most believe that their doctors have unfettered access to complete patient medical records and can easily share this information with other clinicians. Additionally, patients deem medical information sharing essential to a personalized care experience. Among the survey’s key findings, Transcend Insights discovered that:

82 percent of all patients have a good relationship with their care team with 91 percent citing access to patient medical records as important factors when choosing a doctor.

78 percent feel it is important for their health institution to have access to their full medical history.

87 percent of patients view clinician access to their full medical history as extremely or very important to receiving high-quality care.

71 percent believe that their doctors can easily share and access information about their medical history whenever and wherever care is needed.

Yet, as numerous analyses of the healthcare industry have shown, relatively few clinicians—or the organizations for which they work—have the technology to make medical information sharing and data exchange possible. This report will address the question of why health systems lack system-wide interoperability, despite patients’ expectations, and examine how interoperability can be improved across health systems.