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One Approach to Achieving EHR Interoperability

One Approach to Achieving EHR Interoperability

While many healthcare stakeholders are dissatisfied with the current state of EHR interoperability and health data exchange, a number of health systems are leveraging existing technology to support care coordination and patient data access.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recently recognized a select group of health systems in its 2018 Most Wired list as exemplary organizations embracing new healthcare IT to deliver superior care.

Pennsylvania-based Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) ranked third in the nation for its advanced use of health IT. The health system consistently updates its health IT infrastructure and integrates new technologies and data sources into its health IT ecosystem. These ongoing changes support patients throughout their healthcare journey, no matter where they receive care.

LVHN Senior Vice President and CIO Michael Minear recently spoke with about the importance of EHR integration and the current state of interoperability in healthcare. For Minear, the picture of health data exchange in the industry is not as bleak as some might say.

“One of my frustrations is that in Washington and the media, I still read how healthcare doesn’t share data,” said Minear. “We actually do share a lot of data.”

At LVNH, the volume of data points exchanged per day numbers in the millions. Currently, the health system integrates information from more than a thousand different sources into its EHR system.

“In the hospital, we take about 1,400 devices and use them to upload about 54 million data points every day,” Minear explained. “We’re starting to put devices in patient homes and collecting data on blood pressure, temperature, and weight. And we’re on the verge of loading that information into Epic.”

“We want the data to follow the patient,” said Minear. “If they come to us from somewhere else on a referral, we want that data from their prior encounters.”

To date, LVHN has leveraged Epic to share 6.1 million patient health records with 630 other healthcare providers.

“We use Epic Care Everywhere if it’s another Epic customer,” said Minear. …

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