Electronic Health Records and Interoperability Reflection

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Write at least a 175-word response to the following. Your response must address all aspects of each question, must include your personal opinions, ideas, or thoughts; and must provide examples in any situation where it is warranted.

What are common interoperability challenges that healthcare organizations face related to medical records? What are some best practices or techniques to minimize those challenges? Provide details.

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Respond to the two classmates’ discussion posts below two responses together must total at least 175 Words. Be constructive and professional with your thoughts, feedback, or suggestions. 

Reply#1 

Mariah White

2/6/24, 7:03 PM 

NEW


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Health data has always been challenging to access and share in a secure manner. The nature of health data creates a paradox: It’s difficult to share because it’s sensitive and requires a high level of privacy and security, yet the inability to access it when it’s needed has potential to cause significant harm. A lack of interoperability can result in an incomplete understanding of an individual’s or population’s health needs, which can lead to poorer outcomes and higher costs.

As populations around the world age and people live longer, interoperability and data sharing are going to become increasingly critical for delivering effective healthcare. In the United States, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has estimated that two out of three older Americans have at least two chronic behavioral or physical conditions. Treatment for people with multiple chronic conditions currently accounts for an estimated 66% of US healthcare costs.

In their nationwide roadmap, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) says the use of electronic health records (EHRs) has dramatically increased in the United States. Many hospitals now have routine access to medical records and patient data from outside providers, yet less than half of hospitals are integrating the data they receive into individual patient records. So although access to vital clinical data has improved, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done to bring stakeholders together to create an integrated data ecosystem.


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Reply#2

Sheameka White

2/6/24, 5:58 PM 

NEW


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1. Inconsistent data and lack of standardized data structure

2. Patient privacy and security

3. Lack of Communication Standards Across EHRs

What are some best practices or techniques to minimize those challenges? 

Despite the many challenges for interoperability, solutions are available. With advances in cloud computing, especially hybrid cloud, it’s become easier for organizations to move and secure data in a consistent and standardized way. Cloud-based EHRs enable easy integration and access to various data sources, including clinical, lab, and pharmacy systems, ensuring interoperability and improving the quality of care for patients. These EHRs also allow for storing of data on multiple servers across different geographical locations, enabling retrieval of data as needed. They also come with advanced security features to protect against cyberattacks and unauthorized access to sensitive patient data. Data Security and Privacy: Protect patient information by implementing robust security measures. This includes using encryption for data transmission, regularly updating software and security patches, implementing firewalls, and conducting periodic security audits. Train your staff on data privacy policies and procedures to minimize the risk of data breaches. It's important to note that these practices provide a general guideline, and specific considerations may vary depending on the EHR system and healthcare organization. Consulting with EHR vendors, industry experts, and complying with relevant regulations and standards will help ensure the best use of an EHR system in your specific context

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