Clinical Interoperability a Key to Better Care

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Clinical Interoperability a Key to Better Care“Interoperability” is one of those words that you likely have heard a lot in the past few months, but what does it mean for your home care agency?

Interoperability in general means the ability to pass information between companies. For your agency, it means the ability to send information between care partners who have joint responsibility for the care of a patient. That’s more commonly known as clinical interoperability, and it can occur among clinicians at the same agency or between the agency and other providers.

Electronic medical records are becoming standard, but most patient clinical information remains fragmented. Even if all information about a patient is in electronic form, which still would be unusual, one provider may have a set of information in one format, while another provider could have the different information in another format. Which set of information is correct? And how can adequate care decisions be made if these competing claims can’t be reconciled?

The consequences can result in care delivery inefficiencies that waste money, but, more critically, patient safety could be at risk. According to the Federal Drug Administration, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) occur more than 2 million times annually, causing 100,000 deaths – the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. These sobering numbers don’t include ambulatory patients.

Clinical interoperability can reduce inefficiencies and costs while reining in ADRs by facilitating fuller communication in a more timely manner. McKesson Home Health Connect™ allows agencies to exchange continuity of care documents with other providers in a standard format and participate in the health information exchanges (HIEs) that are becoming increasingly important as care reimbursement moves from fee-based to value-based.

Not only can McKesson home health software be used to coordinate care with family and other providers, it can:

  • Engage patients and families in patient care
  • Aggregate data from patients, families and connected providers into a centralized patient record
  • Leverage clinical connectivity services such as secure messaging

Our latest e-book discusses how clinical interoperability represents the future of home health to help improve patient care and increase engagement while supporting a reduction in ADRs and overall costs. If you haven’t yet looked at bringing clinical interoperability to your agency, it should be near the top of your to-do list.

Learn more about clinical interoperability and other changes in the home health and hospice industries by subscribing to our blog or liking us on Facebook.

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