- Referral partners need the ability to access care records from other care settings or providers. They also want to be able to check the progress of the patients they’ve referred without time-consuming phone calls or faxes. But it’s important to point out that interoperability with referral partners benefits the provider, too. When all the data from various systems can be accessed in one place, it can dramatically streamline the admissions process for new patients and residents, speed up the development of care plans and the delivery of care.
- Interoperable systems also make communication between clinicians—both within the same facility and across different care settings—easier, faster and more accurate. Interoperability can support real-time updates for everyone involved in patient or resident care, so they know what’s happening with any emerging issues or have visibility into progress being made. Making it easier to access complete information and making sure information follows the patient helps avoid poor patient care and family dissatisfaction.
In addition, we have case studies showing that interoperability enhances clinician satisfaction. Having the right information about the patients and residents they care for, with no blind spots, saves clinicians time and allows them to work efficiently, which promotes work/life balance. Adopting interoperable technology can help make your facility a place that people want to work, which can be a powerful advantage when labor markets are as challenging as they are now.
- Since the pandemic, patients or residents and their family members have adopted a more consumer-oriented attitude toward their healthcare providers, and they have also become more tech savvy. Technology including telehealth appointments, applications for tracking prescriptions, and easy access to health records have become expected. So it makes sense that patients and residents will look for the same kind of patient-centric experience when interacting with post-acute care providers. Interoperable systems make it easier to keep everyone up to date with care plans, a patient’s progress, changes in medications and other crucial information.
And even in resident-based care settings like assisted living, we’re seeing more interactions with providers traditionally thought of as post-acute. For example, home health patients and senior living residents may interact with hospice providers, which means connections to information from other post-acute care settings will be key.
- From a payor perspective, interoperable systems generally make it easier to get complete data and documentation. As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in healthcare increases, it’s important to remember that any analytic solutions are only as good as the data they’re fed. If care records are incomplete and patient data is scattered across different EHRs and care settings, that hinders the ability to make sense of all the discrete information.
When complete records and data flow to the right person and the right point in the workflow using the power of interoperability, that’s what we mean at MatrixCare when we say we’re “more than an EHR.”
How MatrixCare is supporting broader adoption of interoperability
MatrixCare has been committed to advocating for interoperability in post-acute care for years. We’ve been active with the CommonWell Health Alliance and the Post-Acute Care Interoperability (PACIO) workgroup, to advocate for the adoption of interoperable technology in new use cases and challenging workflows. We’ve been involved in the development of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), which established policies and technical specifications for nationwide interoperability. We’ve conducted annual surveys with post-acute providers and referral partners to better understand perceptions of interoperable technology and how it can help caregivers, patients and residents. Soon, we’ll roll out new features and functions in our core skilled nursing EHR that will improve the ability of our customers to access care records from referral sources and other care settings and providers they work with.
Looking ahead, I believe we’ll see more investment in bringing healthcare records together and standardizing the data that’s included in those records. AI and machine learning are already helping create intelligent use cases and alerts that will allow clinicians to deliver better care, and there’s little doubt more applications will surface over time.
Interoperability is good for patients and residents, for referral sources, for your clinicians, for patient family members—and for your facility’s bottom line. MatrixCare is committed to delivering interoperable technology solutions that let you focus on delivering the best care for your patients and residents while helping keep your business healthy and thriving.