Data integration and interoperability are high on the priority list for providers seeking health IT tools to support population health management efforts, according to a KLAS Research report. These integration features and advanced functionalities, severely lacking in first generation health IT systems, are driving customers to seek out products to replace old systems that are no longer up to the task of succeeding in a value-based care system.
Interoperability woes are not new to users of electronic health records (EHRs). While the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program helped to spur widespread implementation, some say a lack of emphasis on interoperability led the industry to its current difficult position, with many providers unable to easily share information and patients running into difficulty when they need their health information to follow them across the continuum of their care.
“When vendors are replaced, the most common reason organizations cite is poor integration with other systems, often the EMR [EHR],” said the KLAS report, according to an article in HealthITAnalytics. “These organizations are looking for systems that allow users to access patient data cross the whole continuum of care.”
The lack of ability to easily share information stands to become an even greater burden in the healthcare industry as the US moves toward value-based care. Recently unveiled proposed rules from the Department of Health and Human Services seek to address the issue of information blocking and support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. The results in the KLAS Research report underscore the importance of this issue.
Over one quarter of organizations in the report noted data organization as their top reason for seeking new health IT vendors. According to the report, population health management is at the top of the list of priorities for many providers, along with PACS imaging management tools and enterprise resource planning systems.