Interoperability is gaining the spotlight even more with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health IT professionals are focused to enhance interoperability to combat the spread of new emerging variants. With Omicron hitting in many countries interoperability has become crucial for seamless patient data exchange. By improving interoperability valuable data can be learned and examined by healthcare providers and researchers related to testing, contact finding, and detecting outbreaks. Such data reveals patterns that can facilitate professionals to handle the spread of the new virus in the best way.

What is interoperability in healthcare and how to improve it?

Interoperability in healthcare is the ability of clinicians and healthcare providers to share and transfer critical patient information electronically. It helps to enhance the treatment process and patient outcome levels. True interoperability lets physicians comprehend the medical histories of patients who have been treated somewhere else. This enables them to offer the best diagnosis and treatment. Interoperability options in your Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software enable data to be accessed, shared, and transferred between stakeholders in the healthcare sector in a secure and encrypted platform.

Interoperability and the COVID-19 pandemic

The quick spread of new variants has furthermore stressed the importance of interoperability. When interoperability is used effectively then easy access to patient data can be promoted. The track of future outbreaks can be monitored with greater efficiency with detailed documentation and powerful alert services. For a seamless exchange of data and information providers must function under two key principles, the short term time frame is more critical as compared to the long term, and existing EHR software solutions should be optimized rather than innovating new software systems.

To help interoperability play a role against the pandemic providers must also support enhancing commercial lab reporting which can identify patients who have tested positive for the Omicron variant. The reporting should include complete demographic information of patients. Healthcare providers can also encourage state officials to offer clinical data which can facilitate case investigations. In a nutshell, clinicians in the United States need to follow the best practices for data sharing and coding to combat the spread of the dangerous virus. Productive interoperability lets providers seamlessly exchange data regarding patient populations, concentrated outbreaks, and treatment procedures.

Challenges to interoperability

The progress of interoperability in the United States has been slow because most of the EMR software solutions were designed to enhance financial billing and coding of medical practices and not to provide seamless patient care. To make interoperability the key feature of Electronic Health Records software healthcare leaders and professionals need to communicate the importance of easy exchange of healthcare data through their purchasing power. Interoperability is the best long-term solution for the healthcare sector to cut down costs, enhance the care delivery process, and increase productivity in the system. The power of the free flow of patient data cannot be underestimated as it supports informed treatment decisions to manage a patient’s health from the hospital to the follow-up stages. Amidst the global pandemic, the federal government should enforce certain standards for EHR software vendors to promote interoperability options for its users.