Although the majority of primary care physicians and hospitals have switched to EMRs (greater than 85% in Canada), this has not let to optimized data storage and security as expected.1 Currently, healthcare workers are experiencing a wide variety of issues with their systems, particularly lack of interoperability.
Interoperability is used to describe when systems are able to communicate with each other. This is extremely relevant to healthcare, as it seems crucial for pathology labs, hospitals, clinics, family physicians, and all other professionals to have systems that communicate with one another to build a comprehensive medical record of their patients. However, this fails to be the case.
Research demonstrates that although 97% of US citizens are familiar or know of cloud technology, 31% cannot easily access their personal medical records, and only 50% of users are able to access them online via their provider.2
Consequently, medical records remain separated, uncoordinated, or in worst case scenarios negatively impact the care patients receive. In fact, studies show that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Although EMR interoperability is unlikely to be the sole or even primary cause of this statistic, it is worth noting the potential reduction of patient deaths by medical errors when accounting for avoidable discrepancies made by missing, mis-transferred, or lost data from patient medical records.3How Are Businesses Advancing Interoperability?
Due to the growing problems created by the current state of EMRs, interoperability of electronic medical record systems has become the latest hot topic in digital healthcare. For example, the topics of interoperability (and artificial intelligence/AI) at HIMSS 2018 was the most popular subject at the event with a dedicated showcase of over 30,000 square feet for medical professionals to discuss the “interoperability imperative for connecting health and care”.4
Examples of this include DermEngine’s dermatology EMR software, which offers EMR/PMS integration with a wide variety of systems. Additionally, the platform offers total body photography, clinical decision support tools, clinic analytics, and teledermoscopy services to provide medical professionals a convenient and centralized healthcare data solution.
In addition to being an excellent tool for practice management and performance evaluation, it can also be useful for analyzing the number of actions (diagnoses) by clinic location or doctor, as well as top diagnoses over time. This expands the system to offer a greater level of precision and analytics not seen in previous intelligent dermatology software while optimizing workflows and allowing professionals to focus on their patients.Conclusion
In conclusion, interoperability is a key component of EMR success. By possessing EMR integration/interoperability, systems can transfer data, allowing medical professionals to receive access to comprehensive, crucial patient data necessary to provide the greatest level of care. Although the majority of hospitals use electronic record systems, the need for connectivity remains an area of necessary improvement, with dermatology EMR software like DermEngine providing innovative solutions to this growing need.
-The MetaOptima Team