Just in Time for Halloween “12 Superheroes” and the “Fantastic Four” Take on Interoperability Measures
Halloween is a time where we can pretend to be anyone we want to be.... a princess, a villain, or even a superhero. This year, we got to witness real-life superheroes make their mark on the healthcare industry. On October 2, at the KLAS Keystone Summit 12 EHR vendors, including NextGen, came together to create the first draft of interoperability measures. These 11 measures were collaborated on by the industry’s leading EHR vendors, and then written and published by health IT experts dubbed the “Fantastic Four” by Kent Gale, founder and chairman of KLAS, a research firm that assesses EHR and other software. These experts include John Halamka, M.D., CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; Stanley Huff, M.D. chief medical informatics office of Intermountain HealthCare; Dan Nigrin, M.D and CIO of Boston Children's Hospital; and Micky Tripathi, president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.
Regardless of whether your reaction to this is a standing ovation followed by an urge to pat each EHR vendor on the back or if you find yourself asking what took you so long, interoperability measures finally do exist. These voluntary measures aim to evaluate the usefulness of information exchange as well as gage the current position and progress of interoperability moving forward. These measures will be sent out to providers as a survey beginning in January of 2016.
But why did they wait so long, and why now? Who knows; maybe it’s because someone finally put them all in the same room and they ran out of other things to talk about. My guess is that after ICD-10 and Meaningful Use requirements have been finalized EHR vendors are on government guideline overload and decided to unify around measures that vendors agreed with instead of fought against. Irrespective of what led to the creation of these measures, no one could ignore the outcry for interoperability much longer.
We, at Itentive, look forward to the opportunities presented by these measures and recognize the change in perspective these new metrics take. Unlike most standardized measures set forth by regulatory bodies, these metrics are not just a list of mandatory technical features, they are use-case driven and focus on the usability of the information by providers. This approach is what the shift from volume to value-based care is all about, so even though EHR vendors may have dragged their feet a bit in creating these interoperability measures, we believe they’ve done it right. They identified the barriers to interoperability, collaborated on solutions that are feasible, and voluntarily committed their participation, all of which will lead to a more successful outcome compared to mandated standards by a government agency. Our team at Itentive is excited to work with NextGen in this next phase of interoperability. We will do everything we can to assist and contribute to this initiative. After all providers and patients should have access to any information they need related to care… it’s 2015, and we say, “It’s about time”.
- Lindsey Lanning, Health Informatics Coordinator at Itentive