ORLANDO — The push for interoperability comes not just from the government and vendors but from patients themselves, who want their data to easily move with them and who expect, sometimes incorrectly, that those data do indeed do that and that their providers help the process along.
That's according to a survey released Wednesday at HIMSS by Transcend Insights, a company that develops population health management solutions for providers.
More than three quarters of respondents said that it is very or extremely important for their complete medical history to move with them, reported the study, “Patient Expectations of Medical Information Sharing and Personalized Healthcare.” And 72% said that they thought their care providers could easily transmit their medical histories.
That's not far off, according to data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which reports that, in 2015, 85% of hospitals could send patient health information to outside sources and 65% could receive patient health information from outside sources.
Though completely free data exchange has yet to be reached, “we're on the road to interoperability,” according to Dr. Jon White, acting coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
Interoperability that allows seamless sharing of data could prevent medical errors, enable more coordinated care, and improve communication that results in better care and lower healthcare costs. It also certainly helps population health efforts, giving Transcend a stake in interoperability. The company makes the HealthLogix platform.
The Humana subsidiary makes HealthLogix Care, a point-of-care platform that is built on new interoperability standards Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources.
For the survey, Transcend collected 2,597 responses of a nationally representative group of U.S. adults who have seen a doctor in the last year.
Kristin Russel, Transcend's vice president of marketing said the impetus for the study was to ask the question "Do people realize how big of a problem this is?" She hopes the results will spur conversation about the importance of interoperability.
There's a fundamental shift towards patients having more control of their data and more say in how those data move, she said from the HIMSS exhibition hall floor.
Accenture's global health managing director Dr. Kaveh Safavi shared a similar sentiment when he said from the Accenture booth at HIMSS that patients now expect that they can engage with healthcare “on their own terms.” To that end, he sees creating better digital patient experiences and virtual platforms as key short-term trends.