Interoperability of Healthcare Information Systems

The purpose of healthcare information systems is to enhance the quality of medical services and reduce costs. The interoperability allows healthcare professionals to interact with each other and make responsible decisions about individuals’ regimen considering all significant factors. One of the possible barriers to the interoperability of these systems is that there is no standardized method of patient identification. This problem leads to challenges in the exchange of patients’ health records between hospitals. Another significant barrier to the elimination of poor interoperability is that there is a lack of universal standards of monitoring tools across various healthcare settings (Samal et al., 2016). Hospitals may use different protocols and rules for the evaluation and management of patients, which makes the data exchange impossible. One of the other barriers to interoperability is a lack of coordination between stakeholders (Samal et al., 2016). It is possible to say that, currently, many hospitals may not be interested in the development of the system that would allow facilitating transitions of patient data.

One of the possible solutions to all of these issues is the establishment of meetings aimed to address the disadvantages of existing healthcare information systems and the benefits of their modifications. During these events, panelists can emphasize the significance of the single system of standardization and access to data. Meetings will allow stakeholders to share their ideas on what changes each of them can make to participate in a collaborative process of changing the existing structures and adjusting them to their current needs. Another solution is medical professionals’ advocacy that will enhance hospitals’ awareness of the necessity of interoperability between healthcare information systems.

Workflow analysis is a vital aspect of the clinical and operational effectiveness of a medical professional. Hess (2018) notes that workflow should be associated with chronological processes and involve the sequential use of documentation forms. Such an approach allows medical staff to enhance the effectiveness of departments’ performance and, consequently, improve patient outcomes by developing necessary documentation. Hess (2018) adds that it is vital to perform a workflow analysis at least once a year.

Current educational preparation for medical professionals is concentrated on gaining clinical skills more than on documentation. Such an approach is rational as it ensures that healthcare workers have the necessary knowledge to provide high-quality services and improve patient outcomes. However, educational programs should include courses that teach medical students the skills that are vital for performing workflow analysis. For example, a clinician should have strong organizational capacities to be able to work with assessment data and laboratory values (Hess, 2018). A proper arrangement of these criteria can assess in the monitoring of individuals’ health state and chronic conditions over time. In addition, this approach allows for consistency; for instance, a clinician may order the same laboratory tests regularly to track changes in the patient’s condition.

To promote redesigning of clinical processes, current educational programs can offer organizational skills training courses that will include seminars on coordinating resources and planning. Moreover, it is vital to educate students on the significance of workflow analysis, the development of clinical order sets, and precise documentation of valuable data. Such changes in educational preparation will help future medical professionals to organize the workflow from the beginning of their clinical practice and allow for the increased quality of their performance.

References

Hess, C. T. (2018). Workflow analysis: The importance of clinical order sets. Advances in Skin & Wound Care, 31(9), 431-432.

Samal, L., Dykes, P. C., Greenberg, J. O., Hasan, O., Venkatesh, A. K., Volk, L. A., & Bates, D. W. (2016). Care coordination gaps due to lack of interoperability in the United States: A qualitative study and literature review. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1). Web.