Interoperability between healthcare systems continues to be a struggle with only 30 percent of hospitals being able to find, send, receive and integrate patient information from outside systems. Finding were published in Health Affairs.
Based on nation-wide data regarding interoperability in 2014, this study showed only 29.7 percent of hospitals were able to engage in all four domains of finding, sending, receiving, and integrating electronic patient information from outside providers, an increase from 24.5 percent in 2014.
Sending and receiving information saw the most improvement with sending growing 8.1 percent and receiving increasing 8.4 percent. System integration remained steady over the past year. Only 18.7 percent of hospitals reported that they “often” used patient care data from outside providers.
“Our results reveal that hospitals’ progress toward interoperability is slow and that progress is focused on moving information between hospitals, not on ensuring usability of information in clinical decisions,” wrote first author A. Jay Holmgren and colleagues. “Policy interventions, such as those in the recent 21st Century Cures Act, should therefore focus on ensuring that all hospitals are incentivized to pursue robust interoperability, with a particular focus on integration, to realize the cost savings and quality improvements that are expected to follow.”