Interoperability is Vital to Improving Patient Care and Safety

Providing quality care is the number one priority for any healthcare provider. But while caregivers and administrators have good intentions, today’s technology makes it difficult to provide that care safely and efficiently.

For example, studies have shown the average hospital relies on 16 different electronic medical record platforms to provide patient care. Many of those programs don’t communicate well, if at all, and the 10 technology vendors that support a hospital’s information technology department probably can’t do much to make the disparate systems talk.

Complicating this scenario is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services new focus on interoperability. Instead of focusing on a hospital’s “meaningful use” of an EHR, CMS will now provide incentives to hospitals that:

● Make the EHR more flexible and less burdensome,
● Emphasize measures that allow the easy exchange of health information between providers and patients,
● Incentivize providers to make it easier for patients to obtain their medical records electronically.

In effect, CMS wants providers to give patients instantaneous access to all their healthcare information in one easy-to-access portal. In theory, this is a great idea; in practice, it will prove quite difficult for most hospitals and clinics, especially small, rural facilities with little capacity for interfacing with myriad other doctors, hospitals and specialists.

But it’s vitally important to financial sustainability. “Promoting Interoperability” will replace “Meaningful Use” when it comes to incentive payments and reductions in Medicare payments. In other words, facilities that don’t prove they are in compliance with the MyHealthEData initiative risk reduced Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements.

That’s where MC Integration Solutions comes in. We have years of experience helping hospitals and providers achieve interoperability. And while our mission mirrors CMS’s “promoting interoperability” initiative, for us it’s about improving patient safety.

Our founder and CEO is a former EMT turned ER nurse turned IT guru who has experienced the difficulties of managing healthcare IT systems professionally and personally.
In emergency situations, time is of the essence and healthcare providers simply don’t have the luxury of calling various providers to learn a patient’s health history. Additionally, patients who see multiple doctors are forced to repeat their health histories many times over, wasting valuable time when doctor and patient should be discussing treatment and care plans.

Indeed, improving patient safety is at the core of our work. At its core, patient safety comes with information, and that information can only be found through interoperability. It’s not just a convenience. It’s simply good patient care.

Learn more about how MC Integration can help your organization achieve interoperability by getting in touch with us today.