The evolution of healthcare to include private and public facilities, numerous departments and different specialties has made it more fragmented than ever before. However, it remains paramount to share information across these silos to reduce inefficiencies and errors, minimize readmissions and decrease duplicate testing.
Below, we discuss the details of how information is shared in healthcare, why it is important and challenges hindering information sharing in the industry.
Why Is Interoperability Important in Healthcare?
Data interoperability is the key to information sharing in healthcare. It refers to the ability of different healthcare systems, networks, devices and applications to share, access and integrate data seamlessly.
Electronic health records make interoperability possible and facilitate the safe, efficient, timely and effective access and retrieval of healthcare information. This ensures high-quality patient-centered care. It also enables patient health information to be shared internally and externally with other HIPAA-covered entities.
Why Information Sharing Is Important in Healthcare
Data interoperability matters for a variety of reasons. Some of the most significant ones include:
- Allowing medical professionals to collaborate and share outcomes and trials that can inform complicated or rare diagnoses.
- Help doctors and clinicians to make diagnoses and administer treatment plans in a timely manner.
- Reduce the margin of error when delivering patient care by providing access to the full picture of their health status.
- Improve workflows, minimize ambiguity and decrease the possibility of conducting redundant tests.
- Ensure best practices can be shared between healthcare organizations and other stakeholders, such as financial institutions and government agencies.
Challenges to Effective Information Sharing in Healthcare
Effective information sharing in healthcare faces numerous challenges that may counteract the seamless exchange of data and collaboration among stakeholders. Most healthcare systems lack interoperability because they use different technologies, data formats and electronic health record standards. This results in data fragmentation because the systems are unable to communicate and collaborate efficiently and accurately.
Healthcare data sharing is also subject to various laws and regulations that may limit how patient data is shared and who is allowed access. HIPAA challenges information sharing by:
- Establishing strict standards for the privacy and security of protected health information.
- Mandating healthcare providers to obtain patients’ explicit consent before sharing their protected health information with third parties.
- Requiring covered entities to limit the use and disclosure of protected health information to the minimum necessary for specific healthcare operations.
- Imposing significant financial penalties that lead to overly conservative data-sharing practices.
Ensure the Integrity and Accessibility of Healthcare Information With Happe-Xchange
Happe-Xchange by Tangible Solutions is a comprehensive system that makes data fully interoperable. Our system integrates data and connects medical professionals from across the industry on various networks to share and access data in a safe and effective way. This enables you to provide patient-centered care and maximize revenue.