CHIME-KLAS EMR Interoperability Report Finds Industry Progress Doubled Over Last Three Years
A recent white paper from College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and KLAS Research found that industry progress toward “deep interoperability” has more than doubled from 2017 to 2020. Due to connections to national networks and proactive vendor support, two-thirds (67%) of healthcare providers “often or nearly always have electronic access to needed records” (CHIME-KLAS, 2021).
Organizations achieve deep electronic medical record (EMR) interoperability when they indicate one of two optimal responses in all four interoperability stages. This includes electronic access, record location, clinical view, and impact on care.
Other notable progress in the stages of interoperability includes almost half (44%) of providers being able to easily locate specific patient records or have them automatically presented to clinicians. More than one-third (38%) of organizations have retrieved a clinical view of a patient’s data; this is either within the EMR’s native data fields or in a separate tab/section. Progress in both of these stages tripled over the last few years.
Obstacles to interoperability
The industry has seen encouraging progress in the above listed stages. However, there are still several areas that need improvement in the eyes of providers. Here are the top cases healthcare providers mentioned that need more enhancements over the next 2-3 years:
- Patient-record exchange: 46%
- Population health: 34%
- Patient-facing tools: 25%
- Clinician-enabling tools: 23%
- Payer/claims: 7%
Half of healthcare organizations mentioned that the lack of vendor support was hindering EMR interoperability. Cost was the barrier that healthcare organizations mentioned most. Purchasing the latest features, paying for new interfaces and connections, and overall cost to maintain system customization are the biggest cost factors. Going beyond cost, the lack of provider workflows, organizational needs, and technical readiness also hinder EMR vendors.
“Even with all this progress, there is still a significant opportunity for EMR vendors and provider organizations to partner effectively to help data exchange truly impact patient care,” the report states. “With additional work, the industry appears poised for improvement in this area going forward.”
Review the full CHIME-KLAS white paper on EMR interoperability in healthcare here.
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