Patients Consider Health Record Interoperability Important For Quality Healthcare

In the age when digital sharing has become such an integral part of our lives, patient expectations regarding receiving high-quality personal healthcare are heavily linked with the medical industry’s ability to share health records.

What Patients Expect

According to a study done by Transcend Insights, a vast majority of patients (97 percent) believe that to receive high-quality care, it’s important for any health institution, regardless of type or location, to have access to their full medical history.

Patients want access to their medical records and the ability for their healthcare providers to easily share and receive critical information about their medical history, wherever they needed treatment.

Patient Expectations Aren’t Being Met

But in reality, there’s a significant gap between the standard of information-sharing patients expect and what’s available today.

Even with the high level of digitization that’s occurred in the healthcare sector over the last few years, effectively sharing health data and communicating across different Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems (interoperability) has still proven quite difficult.

According to a recent study done by the American Hospital Association, only one-fourth of all hospitals in the U.S. can find, send, receive, and use clinical information from EHR systems belonging to other provider organizations.

They also found that medical information about a patient reaches only 34.8% of specialists, even when primary care physicians try to share patient records. Yet, the majority of patients believe that their doctors can easily share and access their medical history at any time when they need healthcare.

The Role of Mobile Devices and Apps In Interoperability

The study also found that 64% of patients surveyed use mobile devices and apps in some capacity to manage their health, and they believe that it would be useful for their doctors to access this health data as part of their medical history.

Mobile devices can be used for continued access to personal health records. Wearable devices like Withings Blood Pressure Monitor, Fitbit, Pebble Time Smartwatch, and Apple Watch can collect data continuously and provide insights into patients’ health and fitness.

For a higher quality of healthcare, practitioners need a complete picture where patient-collected health data is concerned. This includes information about non-medically attended health episodes and over-the-counter medications as well as fitness activity, nutrition, and environmental data.

All of this should be combined with official health records collected by health professionals. But the lack of interoperability and the presence of data silos prevents healthcare professionals from getting the required integrated view of health data.

Meet Patient Expectations With Mobile Apps & Interoperability

Mobile apps can be used to aggregate health and fitness data and enable interoperability. By lessening the adverse effects of health data silos, mobile apps can offer a more holistic view of health and fitness data.

Data can then be analyzed to offer better and more personalized medical advice and care. Patients are more likely to completely trust the healthcare they receive from any medical professional when he or she has access to their full medical history.

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