The importance of interoperability in care settings
Many care settings use isolated technology that can hinder access to vital patient information. Achieving interoperability must be a top priority.
The digital transformation of healthcare promises to revolutionise the sector to provide better patient care and the seamless interoperability of routine operations.
However, many healthcare providers, Care Homes, Pharmacies, and other medical facilities still have a way to go to build a truly connected environment. Many organisations still struggle with isolated and different technology systems that lack interoperability, making it harder to share vital information quickly and reliably.
The NHS is aware of the problem, and is working hard to encourage system providers to adopt the latest industry standards for interoperability and data management. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently spoke about the importance of digital transformation in the healthcare sector as well.
Driving better patient outcomes
The pandemic has placed the healthcare sector under immense pressure, further highlighting a need to automate routine processes and free up staff time to focus on the more immediate needs of patients. Care homes have also found themselves facing enormous strain to provide timely medications and cut unnecessary workload associated with paper based activities.
Achieving greater interoperability between these different technology environments has a direct impact on resident and patient outcomes. These are achieved not just through efficiency, but also ensuring that healthcare professionals have all the information they need to make informed decisions.
Transferring care between facilities
Through the use of standardised database formats, health care professionals will have access to accurate and timely data. For example, the SNOMED clinical terminology (CT) database is one of several standardised and widely supported formats being introduced throughout the world. If your data systems are compatible with industry-standard database formats like these, then it will be quicker and easier to transfer care between system providers and facilities.
Compatibility with common database formats and systems helps ensure a smooth transition between, for example, hospitals and care homes. Instead currently information transfer is done largely by photocopying paper information or printing snapshot reports.
Reduce burden on care staff
Even before the pandemic, many health care professionals and medical staff were overburdened to the point that productivity, efficiency, and morale would all suffer to the detriment of residents and patients.
However, many of these issues can be reduced by automating labour intensive and routine workflows. That depends on having access to the right information at the right time – something which is a lot less likely in an environment where the technology in use does not integrate with each other.
The Atlas eMAR platform integrates the Pharmacy and Care Home directly in a full end-to-end solution to improve safety and efficiency. This has been extended further now Atlas uses SNOMED clinical terminology. This information is available through its API platform for third party integration, resulting in an interoperable future proof solution for Care Homes.
To summarise, a truly interoperable healthcare environment achieves several key benefits:
- Seamless transactional data exchange across care settings
- Plug-and-play APIs that make it possible to adopt innovative new technologies
- Data analytics solutions that drive informed decision-making
Invatech Health provides innovative technology solutions for pharmacies and care homes that help achieve greater interoperability. This month, we launched support for SNOMED formats, which are set to become the new global standard in structured clinical vocabulary. Get in touch today to learn more.
Jeff Shelley, Chief Information Officer, Invatech Health