Frequently Asked Questions

About Intelligent Medical Objects

Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) is a clinical terminology and insights company. IMO offers a portfolio of clinically vetted products, including interface terminologies, value sets, and normalization solutions. These applications help align provider organizations’ missions, EHR platforms’ inherent power, and the evolving vision of the healthcare industry by ensuring accurate care documentation and administrative coding across the sector.

Over 4,500 hospitals, 500,000 physicians, and 70% of acute care facilities in the US use IMO, along with international clients in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

Intelligent Medical Objects offers a portfolio of products including clinical terminologies, value sets, and normalization engines that are vetted and maintained by professional terminologists, including licensed clinicians and coding experts. Check out our solutions page to learn more.

Interoperability in Healthcare

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), “interoperability is the ability of different information systems, devices, and applications (‘systems’) to access, exchange, integrate, and cooperatively use data in a coordinated manner, within and across organizational, regional, and national boundaries to provide timely and seamless portability of information and optimize the health of individuals and populations globally.”

Interoperability is beneficial because it allows a patient’s health data to be accessed by every clinician involved in that patient’s care. Greater interoperability also has positive implications for system and population-level health initiatives, which ultimately can impact patient care. Challenges facing wide-scale interoperability include the time and resources required to develop and implement the necessary technologies. In addition, there are issues of privacy and a lack of incentives for health IT companies and health systems to actually share vital data.

Interoperability can look like this: after visiting a doctor while on vacation out of state, your care team at home can easily access information about the diagnoses, procedures, and services provided, despite the fact that they are from completely different health systems that use different software.

Interoperability is challenging because it requires every medical provider, be it a large health system or an individual doctor’s office, to have the resources and motivation to purchase and implement the necessary data sharing technology. There is also reliance on EHR/EMR vendors to embrace interoperability between their proprietary systems. The importance of interoperability varies widely from company to company, and is the focus of the 21st Century Cures Act.

EHR Software

An electronic health record (EHR) system is a type of software that allows for the digitization of patient medical records. It is also referred to as an electronic medical record (EMR).

IMO integrates easily into hundreds of EHRs, including Allscripts, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic, MEDITECH, and NextGen, among others. Reach out to learn more about your specific platform.

Electronic health records allow clinicians to record a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, laboratory results, immunization dates, allergies, radiologic images, and test results – along with any other relevant clinical information – in a centralized, computerized software. This information is then stored so that it can be accessed by other clinicians during subsequent encounters. Each vendor offers slightly different display and functionality options.

There are several free and easy ways for EHRs to improve clinical workflows, ranging from automating reminders to personalizing documentation templates. Check out more of them here.

Clinical Interface Terminology

Clinical interface terminology (CIT) is a clinician friendly terminology that allows for the capture of clinical intent within electronic health information systems while linking to standard medical code sets such as SNOMED CT, ICD-10-CM, LOINC, and CPT to support downstream use cases such as research, reporting, analytics and reimbursement.

We ensure that first and foremost, the patient’s story is not lost when being documented in the medical record. All relevant concepts, at the right level of specificity, are managed and maintained. Our team of professional terminologists ensure that these clinical terms are all mapped to the appropriate reference and administrative code sets and are updated behind the scenes whenever those codes change.

Medical Coding Terms

LOINC codes are the universal standard for identifying medical laboratory observations.

LOINC codes are made up of the following attributes: [component/analyte]:[kind of property]:[time aspect]:[system type]:[scale]:[method]. For more details about each part click here.

A SNOMED code is one that is part of the SNOMED CT multilingual healthcare terminology. Each code represents a unique, often highly specific, medical concept. SNOMED CT codes are often used in medical research.

SMOMED provides international standardization when documenting health information. This universal language enables healthcare organizations to easily share data internally and externally. SNOMED codes also help with many population health and research initiatives because they are related to one another and can be used to infer meaning for functionality like cohort definitions.

CPT is managed by the American Medical Association and stands for Current Procedural Terminology.

CPT, or Current Procedural Terminology, codes are made up of 6 different sections: Evaluation and Management, Anesthesia, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Laboratory, and Medicine. These are grouped numerically. For example, surgery codes are 10021 through 69990.

There are 10,471 CPT codes in the 2020 release. This number changes on January 1st of every year when the latest release goes into effect. The 2020 release included 248 new codes, 71 deletions, and 75 revisions.

Value Based Care and Population Health

Population health management refers to the process of collecting and analyzing information about a particular group of patients who share certain attributes. Once this information is analyzed, the results are used to improve coordinated care, patient engagement and outcomes.

A healthcare system identifying all of their patients with unmanaged Type 2 diabetes and creating data driven treatment plans to try to improve the health of that patient cohort.

A population health registry is simply a list of all the patient who have a certain shared characteristic, such as all of the patients in a health system who have diabetes.

Value-based healthcare refers to a payment model that determines how much a provider will be reimbursed for care based on overall patient outcomes, not just on the services or procedures performed.