While at the HIMSS annual conference this year I spoke with many healthcare technology company leaders. I am pleased to share some of those conversations here. This selection focuses on interoperability, the patient matching technology that undergirds aspects of interoperability, and the benefits of these technologies in the development of tools to manage patient journeys in a manner that engages patients, caregivers and providers as partners in care, advancing the quadruple aim.
Gerard Scheitlin, Chief Risk Officer – VP Security, Risk & Assurance, Orion Health
We spoke a bit about the TEFCA — the interoperability framework proposed by ONC under the 21st Century Cures Act — which is intended to create a framework of trust that will ensure that healthcare records can be transferred and used in creation of longitudinal records for everyone. Of course, it seems crazy that the health IT incentives and Meaningful Use didn’t mandate interoperability; and the last few years of health IT development might have gone differently if interoperability were required before the 21st Century Cures Act mandated it and made data blocking illegal, but we are now looking forward, not backward.
Scheitlin seemed encouraged by the attention paid to interoperability by the current administration, including the addresses at HIMSS by Seema Verma and Jared Kushner, and noted that key elements promoted by ONC — patient control of records, clinical decision support powered by AI, and open APIs — are likely to improve care by supporting clinicians. Maintaining patient identities across care settings improves the quality of the longitudinal record, with both clinical and payment data, and improving consent management, privacy protections and communications will improve patient buy-in.
Interested in learning more about TEFCA? Click here for a webinar with eHealth Initiative featuring Gerard Scheitlin.