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Interoperability for all

Interoperability is the foundation for advancing healthcare because, in today’s value-based market, everyone is a stakeholder. To do what’s best for patients, providers need to share critical information and coordinate care across the entire continuum, no matter which vendor they use to store their data. And no one should settle for less.

A recent announcement from Epic introduces new capabilities in sharing and searching patient information, and we applaud every effort that brings our industry closer to true interoperability. Epic has taken a good step in the right direction.

But the road to true interoperability is a long journey, and all vendors (Allscripts included) need to make progress. Based on what we have learned through our own work supporting providers, we see a couple of ways Epic could take its interoperability offering to the next level:

  • Epic should extend ‘interoperability’ beyond its own users on the latest version of software. Healthcare will never be a one-vendor industry, so for an interoperability program to be consumer-centered and successful, it must be able to share information across platforms and vendors. No one vendor can supply a platform to support all the complex and changing needs of today’s providers and patients.
  • Information should be combined and presented in a meaningful way. The new approach will offer text-based search from documents scattered throughout the patient’s history for a selected group of Epic providers. This capability may make data easier to locate, but it won’t offer any context to make that data useful. An interoperability strategy should offer a comprehensive, contextual view of patient data, and the information must be available within their workflow in such a way that it respects their training, intuition and experience.

For the first time in history, most of healthcare is on an all-digital platform – nearly every organization has an electronic health record (EHR). All healthcare IT vendors must deliver tools that put this data to work and make it useful by combining disparate streams of information into a single, actionable patient record.

Allscripts has been delivering clinically relevant, meaningful interoperability for many years, but true interoperability is long overdue in the broader market. Our systems – all of them – should be able to talk to each other. It’s the only way providers can collaborate and achieve higher quality and lower costs. It’s the only way to help consumers achieve better outcomes.

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