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Value-based care (VBC) is the next big thing in healthcare. By 2020, VBC is expected to account for 59% of healthcare payments.

But as it takes over the healthcare industry, some healthcare organizations are struggling to catch up. Implementation of VBC can be difficult—especially if your organization struggles with inefficient data interoperability.

Happily, this is a problem that can be remedied. However, first you need to understand why interoperability in healthcare is so hard to improve, the specific problems inefficient interoperability causes, and what benefits complete interoperability will provide.

The Challenges of Interoperability

Healthcare executives may be convinced that interoperability in healthcare is vital to VBC, but they certainly aren’t convinced that they have it down yet. Over 70% of healthcare financial executives say that data interoperability must improve within two years for VBC to truly succeed.

The state of data throughout the healthcare industry poses a tough challenge to interoperability.

As any healthcare professional is well aware, both internal and external data in a healthcare organization is disorganized, fragmented, and difficult to access. It is rare to find data that is correctly recorded across multiple systems, and rarer still to locate it within one system.

In turn, the lack of comprehensive, interoperable data means missed opportunities for everyone working within the healthcare provider organization ecosystem. Nurses without updated patient information may mail patient lab results to an incorrect email or physical address. Physicians without access to a patient’s full background risk missing important clues to a chronic illness. Healthcare administrators without a transparent view of overall hospital data often miss vital trends that could contribute to critical staffing or care adjustments.

Connecting data from across multiple systems is no easy feat—but when interoperability is achieved, hospitals see impressive benefits.

The Benefits of Interoperability

When healthcare organizations overcome the challenges before them and achieve data interoperability across all their systems, they see almost immediate benefits.

Nurses no longer experience difficulty locating comprehensive basic patient information, which means that lab results and appointment reminders are not sent to incorrect recipients. Follow-ups and appointments occur more regularly, leading to improved chronic care management and fewer gaps in care.

Physicians have easy access to a patient’s past records, even if they come from different systems in different locations across the country, meaning that they can more accurately diagnose current problems after reviewing long-term trends. Predictive modeling, based on extensive patient data, becomes more and more accurate.

Healthcare administrators with a transparent, bird’s eye view of all hospital data can spot overall trends that they can use to make informed decisions about hospital operations. Decisions around staffing, hours, and even care can be made or improved by comprehensive analysis of data from all of an organization’s systems.

Improvements in data interoperability like these and many others can improve the efficiency of VBC programs overall, and help healthcare organizations succeed in providing the best care possible for patients. In turn, healthy and satisfied patients tend to return to the healthcare providers who provide the best care. In fact, 74% of organizations that have changed to value-based care payment programs have achieved positive ROI.

How To Incorporate Interoperability

VBC is uniquely reliant on data to succeed. Since VBC focuses on the quantitative analysis of patient health, providers must show measurable proof that their care is contributing to the improved health of patients.

This reliance on data is a good thing; incorporating data into the everyday healthcare experience will lead to vast improvements in care. The ability for everyone in the healthcare industry to share data is vital, as data can reveal both individual patient and hospital trends while improving such things as predictive models and transitions of care, which, as we discussed before, contribute to successful overall patient care.

To help accelerate the adoption of VBC models, researchers suggest that health plans and payers increase data sharing, act as partners with providers, and standardize their programs and processes.

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, one of the most important factors of interoperability is a culture of electronic access. While over 50% of doctors and other clinicians, as well as 80% of hospitals, are meaningfully using health IT, this statistic needs to be at 100%. Unless everyone commits to interoperability, especially all the departments within a single healthcare organization, VBC will be unable to reach its full potential. Luckily, there are solutions available that can easily help.

With the Privis Health Platform, your healthcare organization can exchange critical data with providers’ health information systems, analyze the patient population, and report on everything from costs to behavioral health. With these improvements to interoperability in healthcare, successful VBC is in your healthcare organization’s near future.

Interested in improving your healthcare organization’s interoperability today? Let’s chat.