Investing in interoperability is well worth it so a health system can be demarcated by its data, and not its individual buildings, according to John Bosco, CIO of Great Neck, New York-based North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.
The system plans on investing roughly $25 million in its interoperability efforts, Bosco tells Becker's Hospital CIO. The 17 hospital, 400 ambulatory facility health system is expanding rapidly, according to Bosco, who is excited about the new access to data that investment represents.
"The main driver behind our investment in interoperability is around a recognition that we are shifting to new models of care with a focus around integrated delivery and continuity of care," Bosco tells Becker's.
He says neither the government nor the healthcare industry have done a good job of setting interoperability standards. Bosco is especially concerned with the problems this creates for risk-based contracting and population health management.
Instead of requiring new ambulatory centers or physician practices to switch to North Shore's current EMR, Bosco says they will be connected to an interoperability platform, where records are shared seamlessly. The main efforts will focus on building that record and providing alerts to primary care providers when patients go to the emergency room; what comes next are real-time analytics.
"I remember ... when wide-area networking came about and you could begin to connect a company and their buildings together ... the network became the system; that became the IT foundation for the company," Bosco says. "I view the interoperability platform in that same regard. I think the interoperability platform will become the system."
Healthcare executives called the current state of interoperability a continuing struggle, according to a HIMSS Analytics report released at HIMSS annual conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. One of the biggest barriers to interoperability, according to the report, has been the inability of some statewide health information exchanges (HIEs) to accept certain data sets that hospitals are required to provide under Meaningful Use.
What's more, the executives said, states are making slow progress with interoperability, and while government initiatives are helping, they said, true interoperability will take years.
To learn more:
- read the full article in Becker's Hospital CIO
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