Interoperability and Bi-Directional Health Information Exchange

By Lesley Brown, SVP of Product Management at Halfpenny Technologies

Health information data exchange between healthcare providers and healthcare enterprises is associated with a multitude of wins including improved workflow efficiencies, better quality of care for patients and members, care that is more coordinated, streamlined processes, superior patient safety and cost savings to name just a few.  Add to that the increase importance on quality compliance and value based reimbursement and suddenly there is an accelerated demand for discrete clinical data to be exchanged and aggregated between providers and health plans.  Many would say this is where true interoperability or the bi-directional exchange of data between the multitudes of healthcare players involved in a patients care management and coordination comes into play.

How is bi-directional data exchange different?  Bi-directional data exchange allows for the two-way sharing of PHI data between two healthcare entities involved in the care of a patient. That means retrieving data out of a clinical medical record warehoused in an EMR in a physician’s practice or hospital and then returning or sending data back into that EMR as appropriate and as needed. Data shared can include patient referrals, physical histories, progress notes, care plans and corresponding gaps in care. Rather than just allowing data sharing by passing patient records on to other systems, bi-directional data sharing can truly help support the ecosystem of tools and applications that are available today focused on care coordination and the improvement of clinical outcomes.

In the current changing face of healthcare in the United States, providers and payers alike have powerful incentives to modify the way care is managed and paid for.  Their roles are morphing with payers looking to play a bigger role in the management of their members and providers looking to take on more risk.  Central to this is the ability to access and coordinate the vast amounts of population data that can be derived from the multiple outpatient and inpatient settings.  Technological challenges aside data sharing comes with cultural challenges that need to be addressed, particularly between physicians and payers, where historically data has often been used as a pawn in contract negotiations between the two.  Payers and providers need interoperability now more than ever, allowing them to work together to share data and combine resources and forces. Robust bi-directional data exchange can be a solid foundation for this.

Not sure where to look for assistance in coordinating successful bi-directional clinical data exchange?  Halfpenny Technologies has more than fifteen (15) years of experience with bi-directional clinical data exchange including medical record data obtained from Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) exchange as the demand has intensified of late.  A recent example includes the near real time bi-directional exchange of clinical care documents between physicians in ambulatory practices and health coaching providers aligned with a health system. This clinical data exchange allows collaboration on clinical guidelines and protocols for the management of chronic conditions outside the typical primary care provider setting.

Halfpenny Technologies’ continued investment in innovative solutions uniquely positions the company as a national provider of clinical data exchange solutions to the health care industry.




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