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The Challenge of Interoperability
When you deposit your paycheck, you expect your bank to process it. If you're out of town, you count on an ATM to access your money. But patients discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation center or SNF may not experience such a seamless transition of their healthcare information.This useful information exchange is called interoperability and it is one of the truly pressing issues facing healthcare reform. The lack of interoperability can cause serious issues for patients. For example, communication breakdowns are a key cause of medication errors. One report indicates that âan estimated 60% of medication errors occur during times of transition."1 This puts patients at risk for poor outcomes, including re-hospitalization. Not only does interoperability enable more coordinated care, but as healthcare delivery and payment increasingly shifts to value-based care, interoperable health IT is integral to the effective communication that will help improve the quality of care, better the health of communities, and lower per capita costs.
- National Transitions of Care Coalition. Improving Transitions of Care: The Vision of the National Transitions of Care Coalition. May 2008. Available at: http://www.ntocc.org/Portals/0/PolicyPaper.pdf.
- IEEE Standard Computer Dictionary: A Compilation of IEEE Standard Computer Glossaries (New York, NY: 1990)
- Health IT in Long-term and Post Acute Care Setting, https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/HIT_LTPAC_IssueBrief031513.pdf
- The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) & Alternative payment Models (APM), https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs.html
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