The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical need for seamless patient health data exchange, interoperability, and analytics to fully understand the impact of this unprecedented health crisis. A key factor contributing to the lack of consistent information in this current environment is linked to the healthcare industry’s reliance upon data silos, leaving gaps and the absence of a single source of reliable information.
Throughout the year, and especially during this crisis, we are hearing from providers about the value of Evoke360 to overcome this challenge: Evoke360 eliminates the need for multiple applications outside of the provider’s EHR and drives workflow improvements through the interoperability of data sources from EHRs, HIEs, claims, labs and pharmacy data. This gives payers, providers, MSOs and ACOs the opportunity to provide safer, more effective care that addresses a patient’s unique medical needs.

 

Understanding the Challenge and the Solution

Electronic health information exchanges (HIEs), which allow doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health care providers and patients to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically, has never been more important for improving the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.
HIE data allows providers to make informed decisions for their patients at the point of care. This data vastly improves population health management and patient outcomes, with health records that offer comprehensive insights into the patient’s health status. By capturing past medical history, current medications and other patient health information, the insights provided by comprehensive HIE data play a critical role in improving quality, safety and care coordination.

Additionally, HIE data assists in avoiding hospital readmissions and medication errors, while enhancing diagnosis accuracy and decreasing duplicate testing. Data standardization is a key to seamless data exchange.

 

Barriers to Patient Data Exchange

Despite the widespread availability of secure electronic data transfer, most patient medical information remains stored in filing cabinets at various medical offices and, when shared, travels between providers via mail or fax.

Now more than ever, interoperability with HIE must become an integral part of data collection, patient data exchange and public health surveillance, especially as demand for it grows among care professionals. Despite meaningful use requirements, new payment approaches that stress care coordination and federal financial incentives driving demand for HIE, enormous barriers remain.

State privacy regulations and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are making it more difficult for HIEs to send and receive patient data, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disjointed care processes – such as telehealth, drive-through testing, remote testing and field hospitals – are also making it challenging and sometimes confusing for medical professionals to stay on top of variable privacy rules related to data exchange.

 

Evoke360: Simplifies EHR Interoperability

Given the tangle of federal and state laws, many healthcare organizations find data sharing via HIE to be legally and financially prohibitive. Nevertheless, patient data exchanged across multiple providers now makes a secure HIE an essential capability in today’s new normal.

HIEs are proving their value in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with the importance of exchanging data for care coordination only heightened during a health crisis. The COVID-19 outbreak has put great burden on the global healthcare ecosystem, and the perilous speed at which the virus can spread has only placed greater emphasis on the need for providers to have real-time, accurate data at the point of care. As HIEs across the U.S. ramp up their efforts to play a part in helping their members respond to the public health emergency, DataLink and Evoke360 are aligned to support providers with timely, accurate data exchange.