The Importance of Building a Strong Ecosystem in Health IT

Everyone deserves access to competent and effective healthcare, and with the help of the recent CMS ruling on interoperability championing a strong ecosystem in Health IT, we’re getting closer to that reality. Interoperability is a gamechanger in that it expands access to healthcare providers who leverage technology to provide more efficient care to their patients. Before we can discuss the implications of this new ruling and how this ecosystem empowers administrations, let’s fully understand what interoperability is and how it impacts patients and providers alike.

Defining Interoperability

According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Interoperability is the ability of different information systems, devices or applications to connect, in a coordinated manner, within and across organizational boundaries to access, exchange and cooperatively use data amongst stakeholders, with the goal of optimizing the health of individuals and populations. To put it plainly, it allows healthcare providers to sync their health information technology (HIT) systems to give patients real-time access to important personal health information to make the best choices about their care.

A Stronger Ecosystem

This new ruling means that providers can exchange data between clinicians, pharmacy, and labs, improving diagnosis, treatment, and the overall patient experience. Patients win when their physicians can access their full healthcare history. More to the point, they are empowered with up to date information, which can help them make the best healthcare decisions.  With technology in one place, healthcare administrations also win with a strong ecosystem. When leveraging tech properly, here’s how administrations can benefit:

Improved patient experience

Interoperability means that providers everywhere have access to the same patient information. For example, if you are seeing a new patient who is on vacation, this new ruling allows you to view their full patient history, knowing what to look out for, which medications they are allergic to, the list goes on. This ability to practice amazing care without having to sacrifice time helps providers improve their patients’ quality of life.

Bigger impact, fewer resources

Providers have a lot on their plates, often juggling many responsibilities. The benefit of a unilateral depository of information means they can have a greater impact on their day to day duties without having to risk burnout. With this data exchange, providers know their patient’s health history, their insurance information, and where to send prescriptions with relative ease. They are able to articulate the cost of care to their patients, giving them the full picture which previously was difficult to do. Even better, interoperability champions the data security to make all of this possible

Improved financial health

We’ve previously talked about the patient/payment disconnect and how most patients are eager and willing to settle their medical tabs. Interoperability serves to bridge that gap even further. Using the data available, patients have a total understanding of their financial obligations, what their insurance covers, and what type of payment arrangements are available to them. The latter, of course, can only happen if healthcare providers are utilizing a health engagement payment system.

The Future of Healthcare is Even Brighter

Everyone wins with the new ruling of interoperability. Providers and administrators are more nimble and agile, able to step up and keep the patient first. Patients have the total package in viewing and making decisions about their health. Most importantly, patients don’t have to remain in the dark about their medical financial responsibility. When you leverage HIT platforms like payment engagement systems, you are not only boosting your financial health, you are empowering your patients with the knowledge they need to make the best decisions for their care. With a strong ecosystem in Health IT, the future is looking better than ever.