Let’s talk about data integration. In today’s world, most industries are using data effectively and sharing digital files at ease. But any physician, nurse, or administrator is familiar with the problem of data interoperability when working with the software they’re forced to use on a daily basis.
What’s the problem?
Multiple providers are frequently involved in one patient’s care, and they use different EHRs - when primary care providers, ER physicians, specialists, and nurses all collaborate in caring for one patient, it’s more likely to result in a Frankenstein-like record of that patient’s care history rather than one, organized chart. Progress is being made in healthcare, but the sector has enough luddites - those who still rely on fax machines, copies, scanners, and print outs - to burden the system as a whole.
American taxpayers have been supporting the implementation of electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors' offices since 2010, at the scale of $29.7 billion. And yet while electronic records systems are supposed to make healthcare more efficient and better, most of them cannot even connect with each other.
I recently stumbled across a book, The Digital Doctor, that reviews the advancement (or not) of technology in healthcare. It discusses the problems that technology has ironically introduced, rather than dissolved. The book presents various examples related to EMRs and the flurry of ecosystem issues that have arisen from them. A classic example of inefficiency is when a doctor orders a test that’s already been done for a patient, inserting a cost into the system that could have been avoided if that doctor simply reviewed a patient’s record.
Recent studies have found that less than half of America’s hospitals can transmit patient data, while only 11% of physicians can exchange patient data with other providers. EMRs were essentially introduced to provide continuity of care to patients - smoother transfer of patient from one provider to another - but the current situation is not at all aligned with the envisioned solution.
Physicians have to adopt wise solutions
At Klara our primary mission is building a platform where doctors spend their time on treating patients rather than on administrative tasks. Klara cuts practice overhead costs and increases practice efficiency by 60%. One of the core features of Klara is structured communication between patient and doctor. The digital data is at the heart of Klara, and it is interoperable. All patient data can be easily accessible by authorized users via a secure url, without cumbersome transfer of records.
E-healthcare will be transformative, no doubt, but doctors have to adopt wise solutions that help both their practice and patients. Patients who today commute for every single follow-up or refill to your practice have already started to use telemedicine-enabled care in their homes and workplaces. Structured communication between doctor and patients on platforms such as Klara will guide the effective treatment of individual patients, as well as the best ways to organize a practice.