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As a provider, we are spending a large amount of time with patients doing education, completing various tasks and keeping the patient informed of their planof care. If the provider is burdened with a difficult to use EHR, this will decrease the focus from the patient to the system and can have negative impact on care. One of those negative impacts is when staff finds workarounds to enter data or recall information. Workarounds are dangerous as they often mean lost data which can directly impact the provider making a fully informed decision about care.Interoperability is defined as “the ability of two or more applications being able to communicate in an effective manner without compromising the content of the transmitted EHR” (Begoyan, 2007). The advantages of interoperability are in the ability to share patient health information between health professionals within a multidisciplinary shared environment as well as patient health information between organizations within an enterprise (regional or national health systems as well as across national borders) and finally its ability to support software from different vendors. When interoperability is at its finest the benefit to the patient is vast. When you can have a system relay imaging to the medical software this allows for a more efficient
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT – C791 4evaluation by the provider therefore decreasing delay in care for the patient and potential treatment. One other advantage is bridging the gap from smaller medical enterprises to communicate with larger enterprises through a shared system. This again benefits not only patient’s but payor sources as it will decrease duplicate tests or redundancy within treatment by allowing all providers access to previous treatments and diagnostics previously completed. This gives the provider opportunity to monitor a patient for a period of time that extends beyond their assuming of that patient’s care. An example of this is seen in a primary care physician taking on a new patient. Having access to previous lab results, didactics, etc. allows the provider to trend data that he would not necessarily be able to do if an EHR was not in place. Another example is when a patient is seen at a hospital following a car accident. There are scans completed and it is noted that the patient requires a higher level of care. The patient is transported to another hospital to receive that care and the EHR follows the patient. This prevents duplicate scans being done which not only saves the patient and the provider money but also decreases the time between arrival and care by allowing the receiving hospital to access the previous completed tests. The main disadvantage to interoperability is when the system fails which can occur with the inability to transfer information from one system to another or when it is complicated due to a virus or power outage.