Obstacles Facing Interoperability Discussed at ONC Hearing
This past Friday at the ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee’s Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Workgroup Governance Subgroup hearing, provider and vendor panelists shared their thoughts on the challenges facing healthcare interoperability as well as potential solutions for these obstacles.
Echoing the AHA’s position, most participants testified that the lack of interoperability is not due to unwillingness among providers to share data, but rather, due to a lack of true standards which give vendors too much leeway. Some favored looking to the HIEs for features like single sign on between HIE and EHR systems which would make accessing HIE data easier for doctors.
Epic’s President, Carl Dvorak, called on states to provide free access to public health and immunization registries without having to pay for individual services. Dvorak envisions the development an “ATM” for healthcare in the future where patients could consult a directory of trustworthy exchange-ready providers that all follow certain guidelines, thus facilitating interoperability.
At the hearing Mark Heaney, CEO of Get Real Health, argued that two of the largest obstacles facing interoperability are sharing CCDAs and direct messaging. Mark stated that missing CCDA sections and faulty management of null data prevents many CCDAs from being shared, hindering doctors from making deadlines and gathering accurate information. To avoid this, Mark recommended that the ONC implement tools to validate CCDA data, provide example CCDAs, and extend MU compliance testing to identify cases that have been mishandled.
However, that’s not all Mark had to say so check out Get Real Health’s Blog to read more.
Source: FierceHealthIT, 8/15/14
Apple’s HealthKit Makes a Splash in the Healthcare World
The big Apple is getting even bigger. No we’re not talking about New York City. Apple, who already has Epic, Nike, and the Mayo Clinic on its team, is partnering with health systems including Mount Sinai, Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic as well as Allscripts (the developer of EHR) Allscripts and possibly even Kaiser Permanente.
Why are healthcare giants practically climbing over one another to get to Apple? Because Apple’s HealthKit has a lot to offer EHR providers, from providing a promising solution to the impending issue of health system data integration to decreasing expenses, bettering service and increasing efficiency.
Furthermore, Apple’s brand is well-known and widely trusted by the public. Based on the company’s previous product track record, HealthKit is sure to be a hit.
Source: InformationWeek HealthCare, 8/12/14
Virtual Check-Ups: The Doctor Will See Your Online Responses Now
You’ve probably heard of virtual care in reference to patients FaceTiming or Skyping with their physicians in lieu of in-person office visits. However, Massachusetts General Hospital takes telehealth to a whole new level level with eVisits, where a checkup takes place without any realtime communication between doctor and patient.
The patient fills out an online questionnaire, specific to their illness, and then sends it to his or her personal physician for analysis and response. These eVisits are especially useful for individuals suffering from chronic diseases that require long-term management and regular follow-up.
A study published in the journal “Telemedicine and e-Health” recently reported that these eVisits consumed significantly less time and were more efficient than typical in-person visits. Mass General has found great success using them, as both providers and patients find them efficient and thorough, however eVisits are only available in 8 of MGH’s practices.
The primary barrier to more widespread adoption of eVisits is billing, as most doctors cannot be paid for this type of service, which is why they are primarily being used in ACO and bundled payment type models where there are no fee-for-service payments at all.
Source: WBUR, 8/15/14
Graphic of the Week: Financial Impact of MU2 Attestation Delays
Source: Modern Healthcare