Integration Engines Improve Interoperability
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was enacted in 2009. The act provided a $27 billion incentive to encourage health providers to switch from paper medical records to electronic files. However, unanticipated communication barriers between various technologies and platforms proved to be a challenge.
Efficient flow of critical data between systems, equipment, and applications can mean life or death for patients when healthcare systems can’t communicate properly.
Complications with Interoperability
Many healthcare organizations were initially slow to adopt electronic files because of struggles connecting different technologies. These disparate technologies need to work together so employee health records (EHRs) are available to medical staff and hospital call center agents.
President Obama was interviewed by Vox’s Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff on January 6, 2017 and explained this lack of interoperability was something he and his administration didn’t expect: “We put a big slug of money to encouraging everyone to digitalize and catch up with the rest of the world here. And it’s proven to be harder than we expected, partly because everyone has different systems, they don’t all talk to each other, it requires retraining people in how to use them effectively, and I’m optimistic that over time it’s inevitable it’s going to get better because every other part of our lives, it’s become paperless.
“But it’s a lot slower than I would have expected; some of it has to do with the fact that it’s decentralized and everyone has different systems.”
The Importance of Interoperability in Hospital Call Centers
Communications within a hospital system are incredibly complex. While healthcare professionals are effective communicators, the different technologies used by separate departments and physical building locations can lead to communication inefficiencies.
When hospitals want to streamline their communication protocols and improve the patient experience and workflows for their medical staff, it’s imperative that they include their call centers in the process. Hospital call center operators directly correspond with medical staff across enterprises and become a crucial communication link.
In addition, the same communications integration engine solution used by call centers, can also improve transmissions between care-related software used in hospitals and clinics such as bed alarms, nurse call systems, environmental services, and more.
Read Part 2 of Integration Engines Improve Interoperability