Why clinical interoperability requires a single record—not a single system
Here’s a fundamental truth about medicine today: providers need to see the whole picture of patients to succeed in their care. But a lack of healthcare interoperability gets in the way, and care coordination remains one of the critical challenges for the industry. It impacts quality, cost, and satisfaction for patients, providers, and organizations.
Attempts to solve this challenge—by investing massive amounts of time and money into a single, stand-alone enterprise software system—fall short of meeting the needs of today’s healthcare environment, in which patients seek care across an ever-widening array of settings. A true, complete view of a patient’s health requires information from the health systems’ own network, but also affiliate providers, external labs, imaging centers, pharmacies, health information exchanges (HIEs), and drug registries — and, increasingly, self-reported patient data via browsers and personal devices.
athenahealth is taking an ambitious, patient-centric approach to interoperability that enables collaboration across all care settings and organizational bounds. This requires a combination of business model, technical architecture, and services that is unique—and unprecedented—within the current healthcare IT sector.