Interoperability has been a goal in the healthcare technology space for a long time. But two recent forces have propelled interoperability from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have.”
The first force is regulatory. This year, two provisions of the new CMS interoperability rules went into effect. One requires hospitals with certain EHR capabilities to send admission, discharge, and transfer notifications to other providers. The other gives patients better access to their own information so they can make informed decisions about their care.
The second force is COVID-19. The pandemic hastened the adoption of new technologies across the healthcare system, which in turn prompted providers to look carefully at how well those new technologies interact.
The case for interoperable healthcare systems couldn’t be stronger. Providers believe that more and better data will make a significant difference to patient care. Here are a few data points from a new report from Google Cloud and the Harris Poll:
- 96% of physicians say that easier access to critical information may help save lives
- 95% say data interoperability will improve patient outcomes
- 92% say inefficient EHR systems have had a negative impact on their ability to deliver quality care
- 91% say incorporating patient data into care plans is critical to care coordination
- 86% say data interoperability will reduce the time to diagnosis
These numbers aren’t small — almost all physicians agree that interoperability is beneficial.
And it’s not just healthcare providers. Patients want it too. A Pew Charitable Trusts survey released in the fall of 2020 found that 81% of adults want healthcare providers to be able to share health records between their EHR systems, while 61% want to be able to download their own health records on a mobile device. It goes without saying that patients would also like the benefits that physicians identified, such as shorter diagnosis times, higher-quality care, and better care coordination.
As Erin Hayes, Enquire co-founder and chief revenue officer, discussed in a recent Forbes article, conversations around interoperability focus mainly on EHR systems, but the value of interoperability has a much wider reach that encompasses the entire healthcare IT infrastructure.
Fully interoperable systems not only improve patient care, but also decrease errors, reduce administration costs, and increase efficiency across a range of functions including referral capture and billing processes. Done right, interoperability has the potential to improve the experience of everyone in the healthcare ecosystem, including patients, their loved ones, providers, and staff.
A healthcare tech stack centered on a fully interoperable CRM
As you build your healthcare tech stack, interoperability will obviously be a key criterion for selecting new technologies. To make the most of all of your digital investments, we recommend starting with a fully interoperable healthcare CRM (customer relationship management) solution.
CRM is primarily viewed as a sales tool, but in reality it’s the place where all of your interactions with patients come together. It’s typically a patient’s first point of entry into your system and, like the name says, it has the ability to capture the complete picture of your organization’s relationship with every patient. CRM is likely the only component of your tech stack that tracks not only every patient, but every prospect, from the moment the lead comes in (e.g., via a referral or a web form) through discharge and beyond. Used effectively, it can also serve as a central hub for your interactions with patients’ loved ones, referral sources, payers, and more.
For a better idea of how this works, explore our Integrations page. As you can see, Enquire CRM integrates with systems across the healthcare IT spectrum, from EHR to care coordination, financial management, real estate management, payer management, social media, and much more. Having these tools at your fingertips enables you to realize the benefits of interoperability, such as increasing your efficiency, reducing your administrative burden, and improving your patient outcomes and experience.
Basically, what CRM does is put the patient experience at the center of your operations. As the healthcare industry continues to adopt new technologies, and as patients become more like consumers, organizations that center the patient experience will be in the best position to succeed.
For more information about what a fully interoperable healthcare CRM can do for your organization, check out these articles:
- The Importance Of Fully Interoperable Healthcare Systems
- How a Healthcare CRM Improves the Patient Experience
To see Enquire CRM in action, schedule a demo.