Healthcare interoperability is an important goal that aims to make health information exchange possible in the healthcare industry. However, healthcare providers can only achieve this goal by developing the right technologies. This blog will discuss the critical role of EHR integration in attaining healthcare interoperability. 

EHR stands for Electronic Health Records. It is a system or application used by hospitals, health organizations, and other healthcare providers to electronically store and manage patients’ medical data. Healthcare providers use EHRs to store clean and organized data, allowing doctors, nurses, and other practitioners to obtain the information quickly and easily. 

What is EHR Integration? 

EHR integration connects the EHR system to other application systems that healthcare practices use. 

Patient files are in multiple systems, sometimes even in various formats. Seamlessly sharing patient healthcare data from one electronic system to another is essential for advancing patient care. Proper workflow management and communication of patient-specific information are vital to providing quality care. 

Why we do EHR Integration 

The reason for EHR integration is to improve healthcare workflow and data sharing. It is one of the leading and crucial factors for achieving healthcare interoperability. 

In the case of an emergency for a patient, the hospital does not always have the patient data. It means that the staff has to look for the patient’s files, taking additional time before the medical team can attend to patients.  

However, suppose medical practitioners can’t find patients’ records via digital database. They can’t easily access data from other healthcare providers’ systems. Without integration, there is decreased efficiency in treatment. Worse, it may result to incorrect diagnosis and treatment. 

Integrated EHR systems automate and streamline the workflows inside a healthcare organization. 

With EHR integration, healthcare organizations can streamline operations, save time and money, reduce risks, improve clinical and financial results and better serve their patients.  

With the help of an EHR integration API, healthcare organizations can integrate electronic health records with their existing software applications and business processes, leading to more efficient and effective care delivery. 

EHR Integration APIs boost patient engagement. 

According to a recent study, patient engagement is a significant issue for many hospitals. Many patients do not understand their conditions or health plans, and many clinicians have trouble communicating with their patients.  

One of the best ways to fix this issue is to integrate EHR APIs into patient websites and applications. These benefits allow patients to see their conditions, treatments, and health plans and give them the ability to communicate back and forth with clinicians.  

Integrating these systems into the workplace is a big move for hospitals and other care providers, but it will be a worthwhile investment in the long run. 

Integrated EHR systems allow different healthcare providers to coordinate patient care. 

If your healthcare provider doesn’t have the data they need to manage your care effectively, they can quickly request it from your previous doctors. Managed health care has already done a lot of good for the country. In terms of coordination, it is a lot easier to do through EHR integration. 

Tips to Achieving EHR Interoperability 

Healthcare organizations must focus on three significant aspects: industry standards, use cases, and functional integration to achieve EHR interoperability. 

  • Focus on conforming to industry standards. 
  • Increasingly, healthcare organizations are looking to consolidate disparate systems and create a unified view of patient data. Achieving interoperability does not happen overnight and requires careful planning and the right EHR software.  

For example, one hospital district in California recently developed an interoperability plan for all its member systems. The leaders focused on achieving compliance with industry standards, using common language for all data structures, and organizing data into a single, shared data model. These strategies are becoming essential for maximizing the value of IT investments, such as EHR software. 

  • Develop use cases 
  • What are use cases? A use case, otherwise known as an actor-user story, is an offshoot of the user story idea, where the story is an account of how an actor, a real person, interacts with a system. It is a narrative description of the interaction, providing a context, goals, and system response to each step.  

The use case is a critical tool in the EHR Interoperability toolkit. Use cases are the best method for determining how users will interact with such a complex and dynamic technology. 

  • Achieve functional integration 
  • Functional integration is when two or more disparate pieces of software or systems work well together. It is one of the biggest obstacles to EHR interoperability. In order to achieve it, you must listen to the needs of the stakeholders and use a comprehensive framework that takes into account all possible variables.  

EHR Integration for Healthcare Interoperability 

Healthcare information technology (IT) has come a long way in the past several years, with more developments on the horizon still. One of the essential components in electronic health records (EHR) is integration. 

EHR integration allows all of the different pieces of EHR technology to work together to fulfill their designed purpose – to give healthcare providers and patients the best care possible.  

If you’re struggling with integration, intely can help. 

Visit intely.io and schedule a demo today! 

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