These findings come from a study recently undertaken by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Partnership for
The study also inventoried the IT capabilities of ambulatory facilities. Among the 15 leading ambulatory health centers, seven are in
Although Metro Health is developing a comprehensive electronic record system in its ambulatory centers and its new hospital facility in
In addition to highlighting the organizations that are ahead of the curve, the inventory also shows areas in need of improvement. While many
“As hospitals and health systems invest in necessary improvements, it is imperative that we move toward common standards that prevent costly redundancies,” Spencer C.
The inability of the systems to communicate and interoperate has less to do with the decisions made by the health systems, and more to do with regulation. There is currently not a single government- or industry-mandated standard for electronic health records, as there is for other information technology such as cellphones or Wi-Fi networks.
The study identified numerous barriers to the implementation of universal electronic health records. The inventory shows varying computer systems, “a mix of nonstandard data elements,” inconsistencies in vocabulary and terminology, a need for greater participation by pharmacies, and the lack of a method of identifying patients without compromising security or violating privacy laws.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said the results of the inventory will be used by Michigan Health Information Network and CyberMichigan, two organizations currently working on building a statewide, interoperable health care IT network.
It is critical that we invest in systems that interrelate,” said Dennis Paradis, a representative of the Partnership for