The statistics released by healthcare data giant Epic revealed that over 221 million patient records were shared this fall within a month by the health systems that have adopted Epic’s interoperability platform, Care Everywhere. This represents a 40% increase from what was recorded the previous year in the same timeframe.
According to Dave Fuhrmann, Senior Vice President of Interoperability at Epic, the increase indicates that more people are demanding mobility and healthcare services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic highlighted the impact of interoperability’s functions at Epic. With more patients resorting to telehealth treatment, quick access to health records through the platform made healthcare delivery more efficient and hitch-free. If one thing has stood the test of time, it is the fact that even provider organizations agree that patients should have a full overview of their records.
Just as the rate of record-sharing increased dramatically, the delivery of healthcare services also saw a rise in numbers. Due to apprehension public spaces, non-urgent care came to a halt in April. Likewise, there was a fall in interoperability rates. However, record sharing then increased as people started to seek healthcare services gradually.
In Fuhrmann’s words, things look optimistic since interoperations match care rate across various vendors and providers. About 50% of the exchanges that occurred on Care Everywhere involved Epic users and those using other EHR platforms. The continuous acceptance of interoperability is partly attributed to platforms like Carequality.
The result of the unified exchanges between providers plays a major role in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with vaccine distribution underway. Eventually, interoperability will come in handy, considering that the vaccine is administered in two doses. This will make it possible for patients to get the first dose from their primary care provider and the second at the local pharmacy.
Experts in the healthcare industry have noted how the coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to realize the need for interoperability. The issue now with vaccine administration is that there are reservations about data sharing, with some states not so keen to forward patient records to the federal government.
Nevertheless, the world now understands the importance of seamless and real-time sharing of patient information across the board. Quick access to this information means prompt and effective delivery of healthcare services to patients, whether they have the coronavirus or not.