Technology should never be a hindrance when it comes to healthcare. Instead, it should help facilitate better patient outcomes. The average person never wonders if their back-end infrastructure will be able to connect to someone outside their system when they send an e-mail or check their online bank records. This is where healthcare should be today, but the sad reality is it isnt, and there are still large obstacles to getting there.
More and more, physicians are adopting electronic health records to track and maintain patient information. However, these systems alone cannot solve the challenges facing the healthcare community. While EHRs are powerful tools for managing patient information, their benefits are limited to single practices because their inability to share health information with other users forces doctors to continue using costly and inefficient paper communications.
So, does this mean that doctors must continually invest to upgrade their information technology systems, or worse, completely replace it to ensure they are able to connect with their fellow physicians? No. There are ways to supercharge a doctors IT investmentno matter the platform or environmentthat will help serve as a bridge to disparate healthcare technology. The approach to simplifying healthcare IT is through common sense, pragmatic steps:
- How can I eliminate costs associated with inefficient paper-based manual communications and information systems?
- How can I improve patient care by providing colleagues with necessary information when they need it, where they need it?
- How can I leverage my existing technology and enable easier adoption and implementation of new solutions?
- How can I use my technology to better connect to other doctors, helping to mitigate costs and drive new revenue?
We dont have to re-create the wheel when it comes to healthcare IT. Vendors, manufacturers and other players in the healthcare IT field are partnering together to find practical ways to address interoperability needs. At the end of the day, physicians should never have to worry if their IT is able to "talk to each other." They should be free to focus on practicing good medicine.
Malcolm CostelloSenior vice president of marketing and strategic relationsKryptiq Corp.Hillsboro, Ore.To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown.
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