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February 13, 2017

Access to medical data through EHR’s still not what it should be

Electronic health records (EHR’s) should make the exchange of medical and patient information easier. But compatibility remains a challenge, according to a recent report from Black Book Market Research. For one thing, 70 percent of hospitals say data from outside providers is missing from their systems’ workflows.

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For another 41 percent of hospital administrators are still finding challenges exchanging electronic health record information with other providers. A disheartening 25 percent say they can’t access any patient data from external sources, the report from Black Book shows. Healthcare IT News dives into the report and writes about some highlights.

As health systems lean on their EHRs to help them tackle population health management for value-based reimbursement, vendors whose products can easily connect with other platforms are preferable. Black Book shows that its top-ranked vendors make use of HL7’s FHIR specification to drive interoperability.

Lacking expertise

Integrated delivery network EHRs are the future’s source for trusted provider data integration and leading to the increase in physician EHR replacements in line with the hospital system, the report states.

When hospitals make use of FHIR-optimized systems, the entire provider network gains the data exchanging functionality to better serve patients. But physician groups continue to lack the financial and technical expertise to adopt complex EHRs which are compulsory to attain higher reimbursements by public and private payers.
 

Continuing struggle

Other findings from Black Book show continuing struggles for physician practices and the hospitals trying to connect with them:

  • 70 percent of hospitals aren’t using patient information outside their EHR, saying that provider data is missing their EHR systems’ workflow.
  • 22 percent of medical record administrators said what transferred information was available wasn’t presented in a useful format.
  • 82 percent of independent physician practices aren’t  confident their EHRs had the connectivity and analytics capability to manage the risk requirements of accountable care.
  • 63 percent of those physicians consider joining a larger integrated healthcare organization for technology and financial reasons.

There is  some good news in between all the bad: Some EHR vendors are getting the job done, writes Black Book. Of those polled for the report, these inpatient systems ranked first in client experience for 2017:

  • Evident CPSI, for small and rural hospitals with fewer than 100 beds
  • Cerner for community hospitals of 101- 250 beds
  • Allscripts for large medical centers with more than 250 beds
  • Cerner for hospital chains, systems and IDNs.

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