Healthcare Informatics Features Sarath Degala’s 5 Tips for Greater Interoperability

Sarath Degala, BIP Capital’s healthcare sector expert, recently shared these “Five Tips for Seeking Greater Interoperability in 2018” in Healthcare Informatics:

The recent merging of Aetna and CVS has me thinking about the potential implications of two disparate elements of the healthcare system—insurance companies and pharmacies—working together as part of a whole.

In my years as a hospital administrator and strategist, I witnessed firsthand the enormous burden that poorly integrated IT systems have on the state of healthcare for everyone involved. It’s all too common that separate departments within a single clinical setting use different software, making it nearly impossible to transfer data from one unit to another. In fact, Deloitte found that seven out of 10 physicians say that electronic health records (EHRs) reduce their productivity. To this end, Lewis Sandy, M.D., UnitedHealth’s executive vice president for clinical advancement, said: “I wince when I see how much physician time is devoted to data entry.”

From outdated legacy systems to intentional data blocking to mitigate risk, interoperability is one of the greatest challenges facing the healthcare system today. And, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Researchers from Johns Hopkins have found that over 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. are due to medical error, which makes it the third-leading cause of death in the country, after heart disease and cancer.

A major part of that medical error? Uncoordinated care.

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