As part of the HIMSS-12 conference this year, we have been included in one of the Virtual HIMSS on-demand talks on “Interoperability on the Front Lines: It’s Already Here” (on demand, OD-7).
The talk reviews the three different approaches to interoperability: (1) the hub-based approach, which remains the mainstay of hospital and institutional efforts to share data, (2) the Direct approach, which is a point-to-point alternative to hub (HIE) efforts, and (3) the new “share the platform” approach being pioneered by web-based EHRs.
We look at a case study of using the “share the platform” approach for a community hand surgeon who wants to get his pre-operative documentation (done in his office) to the hospital. By granting a designated hospital employee to act as his practice’s agent, the hospital personnel can log into his ambulatory record (web-based access only needs an internet connection and a browser; no other downloads necessary) and retrieve that day’s patient information. The data is thus present and available in the hospital when the patient arrives for elective surgery.
Granted, this approach is not full data connectivity with the hospital’s internal system, but it gets us a step closer to having clinical information available at the point of care when needed. Even though “share the platform” (Chart Share) is more intended as a way of community docs sharing clinical data with each other based on outpatient referrals, this case study of using it to get information to and from a local hospital, bypassing the private HIE hub the hospital had built, is a novel method. It is the “third way” of health data exchange.
In order to view the talk, you will need HIMSS credentials to log in – logging in can be done here. If you don’t have Virtual HIMSS credentials, you can register for them from that page. The virtual session is available now, and will continue to remain in the Virtual HIMSS archive until April 24, 2012.
Once logged in, you can select the Education tab at the top of the main screen, then select the On Demand option. The talk is found there.
We hope this presentation will help advance the discussion and understanding of the various ways that the health IT sector is addressing health data connectivity. The “share the platform” (Chart Share) approach represents a novel, potentially disruptive “third way” of connecting doctors (and even hospitals).