There has been a lot of press lately about care coordination, and how it will play a significant role in improving patient outcomes. But despite all of this positive coverage, inter-organizational care coordination is far from becoming a reality. Even large, well-regarded and technologically-savvy health organizations aren’t able to collaborate effectively within their own walls and networks. In order to move forward with true, inter-organizational information exchange, healthcare leaders need to first improve communication processes and coordination within their own organizations.
While the U.S. has made tremendous progress in adopting technology that will advance health exchange—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 70 percent of physicians have adopted some type of EHR—there still remains work to be done. Interoperability of healthcare IT systems—the ability of these systems and devices to exchange and interpret shared data—lags behind other industry sectors such as banking and travel. So while the data is being stored electronically, most of it still remains inaccessible, locked in silos.
The clinical impact of this interoperability gap is measurable. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that 20 percent of preventable medical errors are caused by the lack of immediate access to health information. And nearly one in five Medicare patients are readmitted to hospitals within 30 days—the so-called revolving door syndrome—at a cost of $26 billion a year. All are the result of a fragmented system of care.
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Source: Healthcare IT News