Aside from patient benefits, improving interoperability would also make healthcare providers’ lives easier. It would allow public health officials to access the flow of data and care information for better prediction of and response to major health events. Coupled with the appropriate monitoring, if we could have access to this information before the next pandemic in America, we might be able to act earlier and proactively allocate resources to predicted high-impact areas.
Consider if patient health information included data such as the heart rate from their smart watch, exercise information from their phone, x-rays from their last dental exam, physicals from their primary care provider, ect. Having access to this information would give the provider a more complete understanding of their patient, resulting in better care.
The resolution to the interoperability issues will no doubt be complex and require a huge investment in resources. However, today's ongoing pandemic may force the industry to start addressing the major gaps in interoperability now. Patient, provider, and insurance information should flow seamlessly, ensuring accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and a higher level of care.
Healthcare organizations that take the lead in resolving the issue will attract patients who reject old methods of information exchange. This means that providers who assure that the software they use complies with standards like the Fair Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard will be in prime position to capture this part of the market.