Updox recently signed a national interoperability pledge, joining other industry leaders in pledging action to improve the flow of health information to consumers and between healthcare providers. The pledge focuses on three key areas – consumer access, information blocking and standards – aimed at achieving an interoperable healthcare system to empower patients to maximize use of their electronic health records (EHRs).
This is an ideal promise for Updox as all of our efforts are based on the concept of providing secure, fast and convenient communications channels to connect the various components of healthcare together – united by the goal of coordinating care.
What is the pledge?
The Interoperability Pledge initiative was first launched as part of the HIMSS16 health IT conference earlier this year. The pledge represents an important step in securing support and consumer engagement as part of the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap published in 2015 by HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
Why does interoperability matter?
Let’s say you were just discharged from a hospital to a long-term care facility and your records didn’t arrive to the facility when you did. No one knows what medications you are on, what immediate follow-up care is needed, what your allergies are or what conditions staff should be aware of. With interoperability – that wouldn’t be an issue. Your records can be easily viewed, updated and transferred to ensure your care is fully coordinated.
A recent article in Healthcare IT News states that interoperability can reduce fatal medical errors, now the third leading cause of death in the United States. The article states “But without the ability to access patient medical records from other providers, many clinicians may make inadvertent and fatal mistakes because a confused or injured patient provided them with incorrect information (or none at all) about allergies to medications or chronic conditions such as diabetes.”
It’s not enough to have a great EHR or a secure way for physicians to communicate. A meaningful system has to have everyone involved in a patient’s care all working together. That’s what we’re pledging to do.
As care becomes more coordinated, there is a movement to have established care teams where a patient’s different providers, such as internist, lab, surgeon, hospital and oncologist, all have access to the same information in real time to make the best informed decisions for a patient and ensure care is coordinated and communicated clearly and securely. Also, the industry is moving toward new payment models where healthcare providers are reimbursed based on quality health outcomes – so the push to improve care becomes even more vital.
What is Updox doing?
To implement our commitment to this pledge, we continue to add new solutions and third-party apps to the Updox platform to help users manage relationships, engage patients and coordinate care. Updox connects more than 225,000 users and 42 million patients to improve health through better, faster, more efficient information exchange for coordinated care.
We’re committed to joining forces to be a part of a nationwide effort to provide secure channels across healthcare. Our services were among the first to achieve certifications from ENHAC and the Drummond Group. We’ve joined forces with Carequality to create a standards-based interoperability framework. Our solutions help physicians and patients communicate securely to align and engage mutually in the care process. We are supporting FHIR by enabling EHRs and creating data access apps that facilitate exchange of information between providers, payers, apps, HIEs, patients and others.
We’re driven to this because it’s the right thing to do. It’s our business, our focus, our commitment. Our solutions and services are how healthcare connects….in a truly open and secure interoperable manner.