“Customers require the effective integration of technologies to simplify their workflow and boost efficiency.” -Anne M.Mulcahy
Healthcare companies are facing various challenges to transform their organizations and remain competitive while managing patient’s health. Providers and payers have to change what they do and how the do it. There are various challenges being faced by healthcare companies and “integration” is major problem. Why? It reduces to three factors – complex standards to manage and exchange healthcare data, healthcare’s evolving regulatory environment and structure of healthcare industry. Here are key integration challenges that healthcare community is facing:
1.Healthcare Industry Structure
The variation among the healthcare organizations themselves is challenging structural aspect. For example, healthcare providers have small offices to large offices. Large entities may have implemented digitized systems, but small entities may still using photocopy records. If these photocopy records get lost then data is also lost. This complexity has led to creation of equally complex systems and applications.
2.Complex HL7 and HIPAA Data standards
As per regulatory bodies, it is mandatory for healthcare companies to strict to certain data standards. Two such of standards are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Level Seven standards (HL7). HIPAA aimed to standardize healthcare communication by offering rules regarding formats, data definitions, privacy, security and management. Whereas, HL7 attempt to solve problems of identifying individuals in large healthcare system. The challenge with HL7 is that it can be interpreted in various ways. HIPAA and HL7 standards, compliance requires to stick to a complex set of rules.
To overcome these challenges, organization should invest in tools that can help organizations to position better to compete in changing healthcare industry.