KLAS: Interoperability progressing but still challenging between disparate EHRs

The research firm found that no vendor community excels at exchanging records with other vendors and while providers see value in participating in CommonWell and Carequality only a small subset are actively sharing data today.
By Bernie Monegain
10:52 AM
KLAS interoperability challenging EHRs

Most healthcare providers agree that a high level of interoperability across different EHRs is critical for improving patient care, but a new KLAS report showed there’s a lot more work ahead to achieve impactful record exchange.

“We learned that challenges related to effective sharing, especially with a different EMR vendor than your own, are experienced across all facility types and across all vendors,” KLAS VIce President of Provider Relations Bob Cash said in a statement. “No vendor community stood out as exceptional in consistently and effectively sharing with partners using a different EMR.”

The research did find some good news: “Vendors and providers seem committed to working through challenges identified in the study,” Cash added, noting that this year’s findings would serve as a baseline for tracking progress going forward.

[Also: Interoperability: Ripe for disruption?]

KLAS also determined that healthcare providers are optimistic about CommonWell and Carequality, the two networks they use for health data exchange.

Providers see the potential of these initiatives to dramatically improve nationwide interoperability, KLAS concluded. Each initiative claims thousands of participating providers, while KLAS’ validation efforts indicate a relatively small subset of providers are actively sharing data today.

Only 6 percent of healthcare providers polled indicated that information accessed on a different EHR than their own is nearly always or often delivered in a way that helps improve patient care.

Moreover, respondents reported reasonable access only 28 percent of the time, and it’s that limited unavailability that results in low patient impact.

When the aspect of easy-to-locate available records is included, the affirmative response rate drops to only 13 percent, KLAS reported, and when asked about receiving and locating the data in the clinician’s workflow, it drops to 8 percent.

“The low rate of impactful exchange starts with availability,” KLAS noted. 

[Special Report: Are EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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