EHR Interoperability: Making Sense of It All

EHR Interoperability: Making Sense of It All
In Stage 2 of meaningful use, interoperability takes center stage; there’s increased attention and focus on the sharing of data. It’s more important than ever to understand the differences among EHR vendors’ data platforms and their approaches to interoperability.

As the purchaser of a new EHR, your goal is to make collecting, managing, and sharing data easy on your physicians and staff. Remember, your physicians should focus on the patients and their health, not on entering data and worrying about its successful exchange.

Here are 10 scenarios to ask each EHR vendor you are considering:

  1. Demonstrate your software’s flexibility by exporting clinical data in CCR, CCD, and HL7 format (with CCD becoming the standard).
  2. Show how an automated process will generate CCD documents for all encounters for a practice for a particular date, and place the CCD documents into a folder on the server.
  3. Demonstrate how the CCD documents generated for all of a day’s encounters are then sent to a centralized, cloud-based server for distribution to another healthcare entity (HIE, ACO, hospital, public or private registry, etc.).
  4. Demonstrate how one, centralized, cloud-based server can receive data from a healthcare entity (HIE, ACO, hospital, etc.) and distribute this data to one or more entities (this is important because it shows a “connect once, connect all” architecture, which is important if a company is to keep up with the myriad connections that will be required).
  5. Demonstrate how data is automatically posted to registries by a nightly automated process. Show how this is set up and how the practice can select certain subsets of patients to send to a registry.
  6. Show how clinical data from a healthcare entity (HIE, ACO, hospital, etc.) or another software package (portal, kiosk, etc.) is received via standard CCD files and imported as discrete elements in patient charts (this will save staff data entry time). Demonstrate that this is an automated process.
  7. Show how a secure clinical data pipeline is set up, connecting the client’s server to the cloud server and connecting the healthcare entity (HIE, ACO, hospital, registry, etc.) to the cloud server.
  8. Show how data pipeline performance is measured and reported, and demonstrate that real-time monitoring of all data connections is occurring.
  9. Demonstrate how clinical decision support rules can be created on the fly (this flexibility will be important as accountable care and pay for performance take hold).
  10. Show how to create reports that output lists of patients filtered on any discrete clinical data housed in the patients’ charts (this is important as accountable care and pay for performance take hold).

Related posts:

  1. Managing Meaningful Use: Customer Support Is Imperative
  2. EHR: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—Real Life Stories
  3. 10 EHR Benefits That Will Get Your Doctors on the EHR Bandwagon
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