Innovating Interoperability in Healthcare

img-information-technologyInnovation in healthcare is critical; it helps enhance quality patient care and improves workflow drastically. However, to encourage the innovation we need in healthcare, a cultural change across the industry is required. Collaborations across the healthcare industry need to occur to improve current processes, and to ensure the patient is the priority in everything we do. The changes we make should encompass this mantra and focus on putting the patient at the center of quality care.

There is a tremendous amount of innovation happening across the country. Startups and innovators are working to tackle these tough challenges in healthcare by brainstorming creative ideas and inspiring new solutions. Interoperability challenges, however, can create bottlenecks that detract from potential breakthroughs and hinder the piloting process. True transformation requires access to data from the entire longitudinal patient record, overcoming the isolation and silos of traditional healthcare.

One way innovation startups can improve interoperability is by sharing and leveraging a common set of interfaces. Creating point-to-point custom interfaces takes time, money and resources to which most organizations just cannot commit. Startups that can leverage a common interface remove the major integration obstacle, which translates to more pilots and potentially easier adoption by the market.

Though some solutions do not seem like they would need integration, like patient engagement applications, healthcare tools that cannot consume or contribute to the healthcare record are ultimately rendered useless. Data needs to be relevant, meaningful and simple to access for providers so that it can empower clinical decision-making. Tech giants are making the leap and using their innovative prowess to open doors in healthcare and provide platforms that can be used by others to evolve, innovate and grow. By taking the open development approach of technology and applying it to healthcare, we can make great leaps forward toward improving care and patient experiences.

Ultimately, healthcare innovation all comes back to the patient and providing the best care possible. The whole industry – vendors, providers and patients – all have to work together to move the needle in healthcare.

Mony Weschler, MA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, CIIP, EMTP, is Senior Director Applications Strategy & Innovation, Montefiore Information Technology in New York City. A veteran of more than 25 years in clinical IT informatics and management, his work focuses on improving patient care with use of advanced clinical informatics specializing in medical imaging and innovation. He was on the pioneering team that developed the first EHR at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

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