When interoperability roadmaps were laid out, our industry got left behind. And because post-acute care is so different than the hospital setting, there were key features that failed to be considered when interoperability was in its early stages.
Now that we’ve brought interoperability to post-acute care, we can fill gaps like missing medication lists at the time of discharge. This detail may seem insignificant to a hospital, but post-acute providers need it to complete the admissions process.
It’s small details like this that caused the first phase of interoperability to miss the mark. While this technology has evolved into post-acute settings since then, there are still challenges to face. In this blog, we discuss those challenges and opportunities for improvement — using our recently commissioned series of independent studies as we go.
Challenges for post-acute providers
Advancements in healthcare technology and interoperability between providers have been expanding and evolving steadily for over three decades. Unfortunately, these evolutions have lacked funding, implementation, and knowledge when it comes to post-acute care providers. Instead, resources have focused on acute and ambulatory care settings.
Opportunities for post-acute providers
The good news is that recent regulatory and market evolutions are creating huge opportunities for post-acute providers.
1. The rise of nationwide networks
Networks like CommonWell Health Alliance — an independent, not-for-profit trade association open to all organizations devoted to the notion that health data should be available regardless of where care occurs — are connecting organizations, providers and patients every day.
2. A new focus on post-acute care settings
With the Post-Acute Interoperability (PACIO) Project, industry, government and other stakeholders are collaborating to establish a framework for the development of post-acute focused FHIR implementation guides to facilitate health information exchange across the continuum of care.
3. Shifting attitudes among referral sources
According to our recent commissioned study, 99% of referring entities said they would likely send more referrals to PAC providers who were more capable of receiving orders electronically. This is a huge jump from 60% in 2019, showing a clear shift and significant opportunity to adopt interoperability to not only streamline operations, but also to gain more referrals.
The importance of interoperability is clear. There’s a shift among technology, regulation and referring providers toward a more connected care landscape.