Shahid Shah, a co-host of The #HCBiz Show, is already looking ahead at what's next for interoperability. "After all the proper digitization has been done and connectivity has been built, we still got a long way to go, right?"
That's a question Shahid recently asked Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton on The #HCBiz Show! "Connectivity used to be the holy grail," Tom shared. "And through a combination of private industry experiences, regulatory guidance, innovative new ways to establish that connectivity—all of those things are coming together. Connectivity, while difficult, is nowhere near the challenge that everything downstream is."
For example, e-prescribing is widespread, with 80% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S. sent electronically. But each electronic prescription contains 40 distinct data elements, and there can be more than 800 variations of common directions such as "Take one tablet by mouth once daily." And as Tom pointed out, "Human intervention and human judgment can overcome many of these, but that negates the benefit of information sharing."
“The truth is the information delivery is just like receiving an envelope in the mail—nothing really happens until you open that envelope, read it and decide what you want to do with it next,” Tom observed. “And we've got that same issue here; the information has to be relevant to the circumstances that the clinician finds themselves in at the time. If it's just noise, then you're just one more click and one more distraction in their interactions with their patient. We have to find a way to package this so that when they open it, their insights there that are relevant to what they're doing.”
As an interoperability business stewarding information exchange of almost 20 billion transactions across the country every year, Surescripts has been addressing these types of data and information challenges with actionable patient intelligence since 2001.
"All of us that are in the world of [health information] sharing have an obligation to build and maintain a trust fabric that ensures that reliability, security, and accuracy," Tom shared. "And that we deal with quality issues so clinicians can focus on taking care of patients rather than being stewards of the data."
Listen to Tom’s entire conversation with The #HCBiz Podcast hosts or learn more about how the Surescripts Network Alliance's exchange of actionable patient intelligence is making a profound impact on some of the nation’s most pressing healthcare issues.