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It might sound odd that these organizations, who you might say, play for different teams or even in different divisions, would find themselves on the same team. But in this case, it’s a sort of healthcare underdog story where a championship win means the same thing for this disparate group: better healthcare for patients. 

This is a story of possibility and opportunity and it unfolded during our first ever Health Plan Summit. We convened this unlikely group of industry stakeholders from across the Surescripts Network Alliance to connect, as part of the same team, and speak candidly about the shared challenges they face.  

The discussions quickly revealed that despite the variations in their day-to-day work, these organizations, including health plans, electronic health records (EHR) vendors and health systems, have more in common than not.

And it makes sense: the organizations are intrinsically connected.  

The common link is the health intelligence shared between these stakeholders daily, facilitated by the Surescripts network. Our network connects care providers with intelligence for virtually every patient in the U.S.  

For nearly every issue discussed at the summit, the solutions traced back to one more important commonality: advancing healthcare interoperability to improve patient care.

Solving For What’s Missing in Health Information 

Healthcare interoperability is on everyone’s mind it seems. For good reason, too, as it is seen as the path to bring healthcare into the future.   

It is also one part of healthcare delivery where stakeholders align without question. Access to patient intelligence is critical for many reasons, but we continue to strive for interoperability that delivers complete and accurate data, customized to serve the individual needs of prescribers, health plans, pharmacists and pharmacy benefit managers, among others.  

According to health plans and health systems at the summit, in practice, interoperability means the ability to close gaps in care. Another benefit stakeholders agree on, is ensuring providers have access to the most up to date and accurate patient information within the EHR workflow, combined with insights to guide care decisions at their fingertips.  

And for all stakeholders, it’s really about being on the same page – having access to the right patient intelligence at the point of care.  

Lean more about how we are helping health plans impact care decisions with actionable intelligence.

Less Is More: Improving Information Quality to Reduce Administrative Burdens 

Another challenge we continue to hear about is that providers are fatigued by the constant flow of communications. Stakeholders want to better manage these communications by using technology to determine the appropriate recipient of incoming messages by who is best suited to respond—whether the care provider or supporting staff--lifting the burden that is often placed on a single care provider. 

Another priority emerged during the summit: ensuring that data passed on to the provider is impeccable. This means patient intelligence that is free of duplications or inaccuracies can be trusted with confidence. For example, when immunization information is shared and doesn’t include the date administered or worse, doesn’t indicate what vaccine was given, it just adds to the noise and risks lowering engagement by care providers. This is especially true when technology, designed to create efficiencies in a process, leads to rework to verify or correct outdated or inaccurate information. 

Enhancing the quality of the data and ensuring that it meets the specific needs of the patient and care provider is one strategy to rebuild trust in the information being exchanged and the process itself. A benefit all stakeholders recognize as beneficial.   

Collaboration Leads to Faster Innovation  

Surescripts has worked to unleash innovation by aligning different sides of the healthcare industry for over two decades. Network Alliance participants build on this foundation of interoperability to develop their own solutions and programs with far greater speed, efficiency and power than they could achieve working alone.  

Improving the prescription decision support process is one more example of how collaboration across the Network Alliance can address challenges and optimize existing practices. Stakeholders note the benefits of a holistic view of patient care, for all involved, including physicians, health plans, other care providers and even patients themselves. Such a view provides greater visibility into cost and the ability to use data to enhance the quality of care.  

Bringing Together an All-Star Team  

It’s a truly unique opportunity made possible because of interoperability. Network Alliance participants essentially share the same playbook – it’s the same clinical intelligence that helps inform all aspects of patient care.  

The Network Alliance is tailor-made to bring stakeholders together--whose work wouldn’t otherwise collide--to pinpoint improvements and work together to make changes that have broad benefits across healthcare.  

Most importantly, cross-industry collaboration like this can help clinicians deliver better informed, safe and less costly care to their patients. Afterall, it’s the name of the game.  

The Surescripts Network Alliance brings together changemakers from across healthcare to simplify how health intelligence is shared. Learn more.

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