Interoperability, information blocking, and the coming data tsunami

Increased interoperability in healthcare – specifically, the sharing of electronic health data between systems – can be an enormous help for clinicians. But as federal rules are put into action, clinicians may soon be facing too much of a good thing.
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Interoperability in healthcare, information blocking, and the coming data tsunami

Interoperability in healthcare between electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information systems can help clinicians access data essential to patient care. In particular, as patients visit multiple providers the need to share data across different systems is paramount.

In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) proposed two rules to enact the interoperability provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act designed to increase information sharing between patients, payers and providers. CMS and the ONC have exercised enforcement discretion due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, and clinicians will be required to exchange patient data by December 31, 2022.

An often-overlooked consequence of such initiatives is how clinicians will manage the resulting flood of data and documentation. Indeed, one of the great challenges of interoperability is not just making sure data can be shared but making sure it is shared intelligently and in an organized, manageable way.

If clinicians already struggle to balance patient care and information processing, more data will only exacerbate an existing issue if there are not simultaneous improvements in how information is integrated into the EHR.

Andrew S. Kanter, MD

In our white paper, Interoperability, information blocking, and the coming data tsunami, IMO’s Chief Medical Officer, Andrew S. Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, explains how the legislation impacts providers and explores ways to develop smart solutions to help offset the negative impacts of the approaching influx of data.

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