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How close are you to achieving interoperability? 

 

Let's try a brief quiz.

How close to achieving interoperability is your healthcare organization? Test your level of readiness with these seven yes/no questions:

1. Do you use an electronic health record (EHR) system?
2. Does your EHR archive medical images and enable other healthcare providers to assess them through zero-footprint universal viewers?
3. Can your organization easily scan data from paper-based lab results into your EHR?
4. Do the systems you have in place let you share data smoothly between various departments both internally and externally?
5. Can your organization collect, enter, retrieve and share patient clinical and billing data from the EHR?
6. Can billing statements and referrals be processed electronically?
7. Are patients able to access their own test results and communicate with your staff through a web portal or other electronic means?

So how’d you do?


  • Mostly yes. Congratulations: You’re an interoperability ninja! You’re well on your way to enjoying the advantages of interoperability in the steadily approaching world of value-based healthcare and reimbursement.
  • Right down the middle. You are on your way! While you may not be completely ready for interoperability, you are looking forward and taking the right steps to get on the fast track.
  • Mostly no. You’re not quite an interoperability ninja yet, but that’s no reason to be discouraged. The shift to interoperability will continue to evolve and now is the perfect time to start preparing by creating smooth transfer of information across departments and/or facilities at your organization and updating technology.

​For your organization to not only be interoperable, but also efficient, it helps to take a close look at workflows to make sure all systems can communicate back to your EHR.

Want to improve your results?

Regardless of how you scored, preparing for interoperability is an ongoing process and there is always work to be done. That’s why we’ve compiled some strategies to help you along the way:

Consider future-proofing investments

When making any technology upgrades or purchases, ask yourself, “Will this support the future goals of my organization and movement toward interoperability?” If the answer is no, you may want to reconsider another technology or solution that’s going to set you up for long-term success.

All systems should communicate to your EHR

If your technology and systems can’t seamlessly communicate with your EHR across departments, it’s likely that information is going to get lost, money will be wasted and mistakes will be made. For your organization to not only be interoperable, but also efficient, it helps to take a close look at workflows to make sure all systems can communicate back to your EHR.

Share your data

Now that we have the tools and technologies to analyze and make sense of patient clinical and billing data, implementing appropriate standards for information sharing is the next step. By setting preferred coding methods and input requirements, you can avoid miscommunications. Your organization should also focus not just on how can it can collect and use data in its own daily operations, but also on how it can share secured data to improve care between departments.

Invest in partnerships

You don’t have to go at it alone. Having proper IT staff and strategic partnerships in place can help to give you the support needed to help you get on the road to interoperability, so you can focus on the most important thing – providing quality care.
 

Achieve interoperability faster

Did you pass the quiz with flying colors, or are there some areas in which you're lacking? Get on the path to success.