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How solutions that share data can improve patient care

Maybe you’ve experienced this, too: At one point while my father was in assisted living, he had several acute care encounters. Following that, he was in a skilled nursing facility and then hospice. During this time, I scrambled to make sure my dad’s care records could follow him so his care providers would know that his medications changed while he was in the hospital and had up-to-date information on his condition. Making sure he was receiving coordinated care and tracking down information with the pharmacy led to delays in his care and was stressful for everyone. Without interoperable systems that can share data, patient care suffers—and so do the patients and their families.

Data sharing is in demand

Healthcare providers must be able to exchange data electronically, not only for their patients, but to support their own operations. In fact, this year’s Interoperability and Engagement Research Report, commissioned by Brightree and MatrixCare and conducted by in90Group, revealed that 99 percent of hospitals and physicians are more likely to refer patients to post-acute care providers that offer interoperability. That percentage, up from 74 percent in 2021 and 60 percent in 2019, reinforces the potential for increased referrals when healthcare organizations are equipped with the right tools.

And patients now also expect, fast, intuitive, personalized online experiences, similar to the way they interact with companies like Amazon or Google. But too few post-acute care providers are able to meet those expectations.

 99 percent of hospitals and physicians are more likely to refer patients to post-acute care providers that offer interoperability. That percentage, up from 74 percent in 2021 and 60 percent in 2019

Why focus on interoperable solutions?

Interoperable technology platforms help post-acute providers deliver high-quality patient care and remain competitive. They are the best way to coordinate care between referring providers and out-of-hospital providers during transitions of care, providing rapid access to a patient’s full medical record. Having complete care histories and data allows providers to make more informed decisions to support the most appropriate and timely care.

As value-based care increases in popularity and more consumers choose to receive care in their homes, seamless data exchange between disparate systems is becoming a fundamental requirement. Without accurate, complete, and timely data, the risk of failure in value-based care models dramatically increases. As this year’s survey illustrates, interoperability is not a bonus feature, but a requirement for post-acute providers to keep up with their referral sources’ expectations and to stay competitive.

Our survey showed that referral partners’ top expectation of post-acute providers is “helping prevent costly complications.” This is followed closely by “proactively keeping me updated on the patient’s status after referral,” and “contributing positively to my patient satisfaction scores.” None of these things would be possible without modern, open technology systems that can share data seamlessly with other systems, providers, and patients, family and caregivers.

The future of interoperability

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly common in healthcare settings, we know interoperability will be foundational to everything we do concerning AI. Connected solutions leveraging AI will offer tremendous opportunity for post-acute providers by collecting and sharing patient data. For example, if a patient is prone to developing UTIs, AI will be able to help improve efficiency and streamline the processes of diagnostic testing and coordinating medication. All of the data and prescription information will be available to the entire care team, which can ultimately lead to earlier interventions.

Another way interoperability will affect post-acute providers is referrals. As electronic referrals become the norm, providers should focus on making sure their referral process takes advantage of automated technologies including electronic referral forms, appointment scheduling tools and automated communication systems. These tools support quick and accurate referrals as well as enhanced communication and timely care for patients.

Lay the groundwork for interoperability now

With comprehensive, interoperable technology in place, healthcare providers can focus on high-quality patient care instead of processes and workflows. Full interoperability will help providers improve communication and collaboration across the entire healthcare continuum, while supporting more efficient use of resources and improving patient outcomes. Your organization’s interoperability strategy should be an integral part of your operation so you’re ready to leverage all of its benefits.

Let us show you what MatrixCare’s approach to interoperability can do for your business.

Nick Knowlton

Nick Knowlton is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for ResMed, parent company of Brightree and MatrixCare. He leads the company’s interoperability initiatives, amongst other areas. Nick brings more than 20 years of business experience across sales, marketing, product and strategy roles for technology and health information technology businesses. Prior to joining the ResMed family of brands, Nick ran strategic initiatives for Greenway Health, a market leader in the physician practice EHR space.

Nick is extremely active in the post-acute industry -- he is the chair of the board of directors of CommonWell Health Alliance and is on the board of HCTAA and PDHCA, which are affiliates of NAHC.

Nick has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame.

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