Do EMR Systems Promote the Interoperability Clinicians Need?

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Only 6% of healthcare providers report that information accessed from exchange partners on a different electronic medical record (EMR) is delivered in an effective way that facilitates improvement to patient care, according to a press release from KLAS, a research and insights firm.

Using the interoperability measurement tool defined and agreed upon by both healthcare providers and HIT vendors in October 2015, KLAS published their 2016 interoperability findings. The low rate of impactful exchange starts with availability; respondents reported reasonable access only 28% of the time.

When the aspect of easy-to-locate available records is included, the affirmative response rate drops to only 13%, and when you add on the requirement of receiving and locating that data in the clinician’s workflow, 8% of providers remain.

Considering the challenges associated with access, location of records and ease of use within the workflow, the 6% rate of providers meeting all the previous criteria and positively impacting patient care is easier to understand.

Home Run Rate

Researchers also questioned healthcare providers about their experiences with CommonWell and Carequality. Providers reported optimism about the potential of these initiatives to dramatically improve nationwide interoperability.

Each initiative claims thousands of participating providers, while KLAS validation efforts indicate a relatively small subset of providers are actively sharing data today.

Vendors in IO Study

“There is widespread agreement that a high level of interoperability across different EMRs is imperative to improving patient care. This report illustrates the considerable amount of work that still needs to be done in order to achieve impactful record exchange. We learned that challenges related to effective sharing, especially with a different EMR vendor than your own, are experienced across all facility types and across all vendors,” said Bob Cash, VP of provider relations at KLAS. “No vendor community stood out as exceptional in consistently and effectively sharing with partners using a different EMR. The good news? Vendors and providers seem committed to working through challenges identified in the study, and this year’s findings will serve as a baseline for tracking progress in coming years.”

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