Data Connectivity and Interoperability: Revolutionizing The Healthcare

Jun 1, 2022
4 min read

As we enter a new era, the healthcare industry is increasingly focused on data connectivity and interoperability. This focus is helping to provide more efficient and effective care, reduce costs and increase patient engagement.

The direction of the future will be shaped by how we respond to these opportunities in our community. The choices we make today will determine whether we become a leader or laggards when it comes to health technologies.

Increased Access to Data and Safety

By connecting the right data with the right tools, you can make better decisions and improve outcomes. For example, by using a machine-learning algorithm to analyze data from your patient's mobile device, you could predict their upcoming symptoms so that they can be treated before it becomes an emergency.

This level of precision means fewer missed appointments and unnecessary hospital stays. In addition to this predictive capability, interoperability also allows for organizations to share information on both patient demographics and their medical history to deliver safer care at lower costs.

Single Source of Truth

Healthcare is an industry with many different players, each with its own goals and needs. To achieve a single source of truth, all stakeholders must work together to create a holistic view of patient health data. But this isn't easy. Health data can come from many sources—your doctor, your pharmacy, the health insurance company you use, the hospital you were treated at—and it's often spread out across multiple locations. This makes it difficult to accurately picture your overall health status or how specific conditions are affecting you.

Data quality is key here: if the data isn't accurate (for example, if it lists allergies that don't exist), it won't help create personalized treatment plans based on your unique biological makeup or lifestyle choices.

Greater Engagement

Imagine a future where patients have as much access to their health data as their doctors. In this world, patients can track their health in real-time, make better decisions about their care and treatment, and ultimately have more control over their lives.

In the future, patients, providers, and payers will have greater access to data. They will be able to engage with one another more easily and safely. This allows for improved relationships between all parties involved in care delivery. Patients can maintain better control over their health outside hospital walls by having greater access to their medical records.

Patients who can actively engage with the technologies that shape them will likely reap enormous benefits—not only from increased awareness of their bodies but also from increased participation in shaping the future of healthcare.

Control Outside The Hospital Walls

One of the most important impacts of greater data connectivity and interoperability is allowing patients to control their health outside hospital walls. As a patient, you are more likely to stay healthy if you have access to your medical data. This allows you to make informed decisions about your care, including what services you would like when seeking treatment outside of the hospital setting.

Most importantly, having this control will motivate patients to be more involved with their healthcare overall because they will feel like they have more say in how they want their bodies managed while under treatment.

Better Care Coordination

The better you can connect, the better care coordination you can achieve. All providers and patients need access to the same information to coordinate care. This includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others involved in the patient's treatment plan.

For example:

  • A diabetic patient may be able to check his blood sugar level at home with a wireless glucometer (a device that monitors blood sugar levels) but not at work or school because these locations lack connectivity. If he has a heart attack during his lunch break and is taken to an emergency room for treatment, having access to this data could help doctors more accurately determine his condition and treat him more quickly.
  • A patient returns from surgery having been given an antibiotic prescription by one doctor but isn't sure if she should take it because another doctor said he didn't think she needed it at all. She calls her pharmacist, who says "yes" or "no" based on whether they were called by both doctors together or just one of them.

More and more organizations are exploring standardized ways to share health data

In the coming years, you're likely to see more and more organizations explore standardized ways to share health data, ultimately bringing economic and health benefits.

The benefits of data connectivity and interoperability are clear. They include:

  • Better patient care - Data connectivity enables hospitals and medical systems to integrate third-party tools into their workflow, including those that support things like virtual care or population health management (PHM). This can help clinicians provide better care while reducing costs by automating certain tasks; for example, it could change how a doctor prescribes medications based on a patient's past prescriptions or identify patients at high risk of hospital readmission so they can receive more timely treatment outside the hospital setting.
  • More efficient healthcare system operations - An improved ability to deliver personalized experiences that meet patients' needs in real-time.
  • A reduction in administrative burdens on doctors' offices and other healthcare providers through workflow automation - Greater transparency regarding provider performance metrics such as wait times.

Summing Up

Data connectivity and interoperability are key to healthcare's future, and it's important that the industry proactively adopt these technologies to drive improved outcomes. By improving data connectivity and interoperability, we will be able to improve patient care, provider efficiency, and hospital operations. In turn, this will help us achieve our collective goal of creating a learning health system—one in which patients enjoy better quality care at a lower cost.

In healthcare, patients should have access to their medical records. This is a fundamental right that has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations.