In recent years, healthcare organizations have focused on continuous improvement of clinical quality, patient safety, and patient experience with the intent to deliver a more patient-friendly healthcare environment and facilitate greater access to quality healthcare information and patient medical data for patients, their caregivers, and family members. While there has been significant investment in electronic health records (EHR) and other information technology to facilitate this focus on patient-centered care, barriers remain to the sharing of patient medical data across provider groups, healthcare systems, and the payers who finance the delivery of care. In the past, these barriers have been reinforced by technological and competitive issues. The lack of sharing often leads to an increase in the cost of healthcare, and a decrease in quality and safety, which undermines the concept of patient-centered care.
The 21st Century Cures Act, supported by the TEFCA-based interoperability standards, is a call to action for all healthcare organizations to leverage integrated healthcare information to drive quality patient-centered care. This initiative will allow patients to own and view, at any time, their healthcare data, direct who should receive the data, and ensure that a consolidation of all of the patient’s healthcare data is available at the point of care to influence care plans and treatment decisions.
The removal of these barriers, enabling access to a comprehensive set of patient healthcare data, will allow patients to become active participants in healthcare decisions, increase safety and the quality of care, and reduce the cost of care. Ultimately, isn’t that what all healthcare organizations are striving to achieve?
For information on the 21st Century Cures Act, and TEFCA-based interoperability, download IQVIA’s whitepaper Cures Act: Getting Ready for the Implementation of TEFCA and Healthcare Interoperability Standards.
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