In this special edition of our Healthcare Leaders blog series, we have asked some of the country’s leading experts to give us their predictions for 2017. From analytics to consumer engagement to interoperability, we get a glimpse of best guesses on what is sure to be an interesting year.
Hayes' Healthcare Blog
“We are deadly serious about interoperability.”
-Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco in January 2016.
For those of us in the healthcare vendor community, that defining statement sets the tone for the future interaction between organizations. Slavitt was also clear that achieving interoperability means “leveling the technology playing field” and requiring vendors to interchange data. He discussed open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as a specific model for integrating and moving data seamlessly between technologies. These are now guiding principles as we collectively try to benefit more from interactions outside our specific verticals.
By Mark Schneider, Vice President, MedStar Health
According to a survey by Hospital and Health Networks magazine, only 39% of respondents integrate clinical data so it is accessible, searchable, and reportable across the care community. That’s up from 33% in 2014 but far short of the type of connectivity needed to ensure quality patient outcomes.
With 10 hospitals, 6,000 affiliated physicians, and 30,000 employees, MedStar, like most healthcare organizations, has its share of IT priorities like Meaningful Use, electronic health record (EHR) optimization, and establishing a consistent set of platforms across all of our inpatient departments. But some of the most exciting and important work we are doing is focused on initiatives outside our hospital walls – connecting to our patients, connecting our clinicians (visiting nurses and geriatric providers making home visits), connecting our myriad of outpatients sites (clinics, physician offices, rehab facilities, urgent care centers) and connecting with other major health organizations, once viewed as competitors, in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area.