Posts Tagged: data sharing

Healthcare Data Exchange Roadblocks: The Struggle Is Real

healthcare data exchange

Accurate, timely, and accessible data has never been a given in healthcare. Other industries get this. Retailers, financial institutions, and tech companies are masters at this. Healthcare still lags behind. It’s not a new story, but healthcare data exchange roadblocks are more glaring during a pandemic.

The big question is, what are we—the entire healthcare ecosystem—willing to do about it?

Healthcare Data Exchange Struggles

Having a full picture of a patient’s medical records is vital to effective treatment and continuity of care. Being able to exchange data internally and externally has implications as well. That’s especially true in the case of data sharing for COVID-19 tracing

While it seems, this would be easy. It’s not. The struggle, as they say, is real. This is what we know:

Why Is This Disconnect So Pervasive?

It’s a question that doesn’t have a single answer. The reality is that accessibility, portability, and interoperability are all critical issues. We knew they existed. They are just getting a bigger spotlight because of the new interoperability rule and the pandemic.

The problems include not having standardization in interoperability, privacy concerns, and data integrity concerns. Is it so hard to get systems to communicate with each other? Other industries do this well. Healthcare falters here, but there is hope on the horizon.

Improving Healthcare Data Exchange: Fundamental Action Items

healthcare data exchange and sharing

Here’s what providers, payers, and stakeholders can do.

Invest in data management infrastructure

One issue is matching. Even within the same system, it can be problematic. Variability in technology and processes derail these efforts. By strengthening the foundation, you can work to eliminate failures in matching. Algorithms could support better matching, too. 

Next is the accuracy issue. A lot of data is unusable for analysis in healthcare. That’s because it has quality issues. Think about all the opportunities providers and payers are missing here. To circumvent this issue, we need to address it. Doing so would include data validation, data normalization, and data cleaning, which would require a robust healthcare data management strategy.

Remove backlogs internally

Another issue is the inability to exchange information due to internal delays. IT staff doesn’t have the bandwidth to create exchange protocols. So, data remains in silos. If you can’t even exchange data between your different health information systems, externally sharing it becomes an even larger hurdle.

Instead, healthcare entities should look for outside support to make this happen quicker. If you can bridge the gap with experts in the field, there are benefits for all.

Streamline and aggregate outside sources

Another problem is being unable to import external data. That’s data from other providers, pharmacies, or payers. It could enrich the patient record. To make it happen, you must have a workflow to bring the data in, clean it, format it, and augment existing files with it. 

This process isn’t new—it’s just not been standard in healthcare. You again look to outside expertise for this. With data enrichment, you would have a much more holistic view of a patient’s health history. 

Now Is the Time to Get Exchange Right

Data exchange has always been a roadblock. A pandemic makes it that much more urgent. By working together, we can all play our part in closing the gap in data exchange. It has the potential to revolutionize care and manage population health.

We’re here to help. As healthcare data experts, we know the struggles, and we have a solution. Check out our data sharing capabilities today.

Independent Pharmacy Turnkey Data Management Solutions

independent pharmacy

As an independent pharmacy, your focus is on caring for your patients. But you’re still running a business–one that depends on data and technology. Your pharmacy systems are an integral part of your operations. We make it easier to leverage these by providing pharmacy data management solutions.

If you’ve ever switched systems, dealt with a software sunset, or needed your platforms to exchange data, then you know the obstacles. Our focus is on ensuring data accessibility, portability, and interoperability is a lingering challenge.

Here’s how we tackle them for independent pharmacy.

We Wrote the Script on Pharmacy Data Conversions

It’s true—over 23 years ago, our founders basically invented the industry. Before they wrote the script, moving to a new system was manual. Can you imagine having to convert your files manually? 

Luckily, you don’t have to because we built a robust data conversion process. It accounts for many elements and exceptions, like accurate field mapping. We know them all and have to date completed over 28,000 data management projects. We also have experience with over 150 different software products. 

That’s experience and reliability you just won’t find anywhere else.

Legacy Data Archiving Simplifies Medical Record Retention

Do you currently have an archiving solution? It’s typical for a pharmacy only to convert two years plus current when they change systems. Often, they keep a legacy system running to retain access to records and meet regulations.

Legacy systems are a huge risk and expense. They don’t work as a true archive. Our archiving solution, ViewMaster, delivers all you need. It’s a web-based tool that holds files, data, and images. 

Simply search for what you need. You can also create reports for audits. It’s user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant, and doesn’t come with maintenance fees. We also back everything up offsite in a compliant, highly secure data center.  

Can Your Platforms Exchange Information?

pharmacy independent

You may operate several different software products in your pharmacy. But can they all talk to each other and share data? This is a pain point we’ve seen for years. It’s solvable with data sharing. With specialized APIs, the data is exchangeable across disparate systems. 

With an interoperability solution, you can improve your workflows. This aggregation of data may also help you understand your performance analytics better. 

Use Your Data to Connect with Patients

As a supplement to our data management solutions, we also offer pharmacy print solutions. We can use your data to develop direct mail campaigns to keep patients informed and visiting your store. 

Direct mail is just the start. We can also do any type of interior or exterior signage. Our print facility is HIPAA-compliant and serves pharmacies all over the country. 

Our expertise lets us help you be better communicators and marketers. 

Independent Pharmacy Trusts Us

We are proud to serve thousands of independent pharmacies. Our support for the industry is apparent through our commitment to making your life easier. We care about what you care about and love working on innovative ways to solve challenges. 

Take some time to check all we do. Then request your free COVID-19 resources—our way of saying thanks to all the pharmacy heroes out there.  

How Frequently Do Healthcare Data Errors Occur?

New Study on Ambulatory Care Notes Sheds Light on the Problem

healthcare data errors

Healthcare data errors aren’t the exception. The prevalence of these mistakes is a known issue. Even with the right health information system (HIS), accuracy is not a given. But at what frequency are they happening, why are they transpiring, and what’s the solution?

The Frequency of Healthcare Data Errors

A new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) provides new insights on occurrences. The project revealed that one-fifth of patients with access to ambulatory care notes found errors. 

The most common types of mistakes weren’t insignificant. They included diagnoses, medications, medical history, physical exams, test results, and wrong patient information. 

Medical errors have serious consequences. A John Hopkins study found that more than 250,000 deaths in the U.S. are the result of medical errors. This statistic sets it as the cause of 10% of all deaths. 

While it’s unlikely we can eliminate all these errors. Every healthcare organization has a commitment to reduce them. The “how” has to be a mix of efforts. One of which is minimizing the risk of errors in a HIS. 

Patient Accessibility of Records Led to Errors Found

In the new study, over 30,000 patients responded. The data set included only those with access to the notes. Without this access, the errors would still be unknown. Availability at this level is not consistent. The new interoperability rule is pushing for this, focusing on the patient experience. 

There is still considerable discussion going on about data sharing with patients. Many stakeholders support it but worry about privacy. 

But should it be the patient’s responsibility to find errors? What can providers do to improve accuracy?

Diagnoses Errors Top the List

Of the mistakes detected, 21% of patients identified them as not a typo but a critical error. Diagnoses errors were the most common. The variations included misdiagnoses, missing diagnoses, and conditions the patient did not have. 

Medication Dosage, Allergies, and Vaccinations Error-Prone, Incomplete Data Conversions to Blame

medical errors

Medication data errors are dangerous. They can be fatal. The study found many errors attributable to incomplete or inaccurate EHR data conversions. Researchers noted that these errors were due to EHR changes. Certain fields did not covert. Thus, creating errors on the patient profile around dosage, allergies, and vaccinations. 

healthcare data conversion must always take into consideration field mapping. A problem with many data conversions is that there is no validation. Providers believe they are getting all their data. It’s the process that deserves evaluation. 

Should Patients Be Responsible for Finding Healthcare Data Errors?

HIPAA granted patient access to records but didn’t solve the “how.” That how has now been defined by the new interoperability rule. The pursuit of accuracy could be another avenue for patient engagement. 

However, education of patients and outreach will be necessary. Providers may encourage feedback but also need to provide context for patients. Receiving feedback would also need a workflow. Someone must respond and make corrections. 

Complete and Accurate Data Solutions

Getting patients involved to review notes is only one facet of this complex problem. There are meaningful steps you can take to boost completeness and accuracy.

Choose a data conversion partner that is healthcare-centric and understands field mapping and other important factors.

Employ aggregation methods that can deal with structured and unstructured data.

Use data sharing tactics that push key data from patient notes to other systems (i.e., decision support, 340B programs, chronic condition management, etc.).

These solutions don’t have to be the sole responsibility of your team. Partner with a data liaison like us. We’ve worked on nearly 30,000 data management projects for healthcare. Let us help you, too.

Learn more about our data management solutions.