What You Should Know:
- Interoperability is a continued area of critical focus for the healthcare industry, according to a new report by CLASS.
- For its latest report, KLAS talked to vendor-identified deep adopters to take a holistic look at the current state of interoperability in ambulatory and enterprise EMRs and measure how close we are to an ideal state. The results reveal each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses within various areas of interoperability.
Exploring Ambulatory and Enterprise EMR Interoperability in 2023
KLAS conducted deep interviews with leaders from organizations who were identified by the vendors as deep adopters (the exception being eClinicalWorks, who did not provide a list). The findings showcase what is possible today in real care settings but may not reflect customer bases as a whole. Key insights from these findings are as follows:
- Connectivity: Epic and Oracle Health (Cerner) Customers Lead in FHIR API Adoption to Support Third-Party Connectivity: Among respondents, the advanced Epic users report the most connections. Epic also outpaces other EMR vendors with connections to in-home patient monitoring technology, partly due to their work with APIs. Oracle Health (Cerner) customers report they are leveraging FHIR APIs and also discuss the progress they have made in connecting to national patient record exchanges. athenahealth and MEDITECH customers are also starting to mention leveraging FHIR APIs more often. Altera Digital Health (Allscripts), eClinicalWorks, and Greenway Health customers report less proactivity from their vendors in getting customers connected to national patient record exchanges.
- Utility: Duplicate Data a Major Issue; NextGen Healthcare Has Made Notable Progress: NextGen Healthcare and athenahealth are leading out among ambulatory EMR vendors at enabling data to be accessed at the point of care. NextGen Healthcare customers consistently report functionality that removes duplicate information from incoming data before it is integrated into the clinician workflow. Some athenahealth customers note functionality that easily brings key external data (i.e., PAMI and lab data) into their workflow.
- NextGen Healthcare Leading in Making External Data Actionable; Altera Digital Health (Allscripts), eClinicalWorks, and Greenway Health Falling Behind: NextGen Healthcare and athenahealth have made more progress with CCDs and Direct messaging and provided their customers with better access to the specific types of data needed at the point of care. For several NextGen Healthcare customers, better access has led to more usable data during transitions of care and to quality improvement tools. NextGen Healthcare and athenahealth respondents consistently have clinicians leveraging external data thanks to the tools physicians can access and the referral tools for care coordinators. Epic and Oracle Health (Cerner) customers have noted some improvements.
- Outcomes: Organizations Starting to See Real Outcomes as Interoperability Advances: Fewer than 25% of Greenway Health customers mention having access to external data that could impact their care decisions. On the other hand, at least 40% of NextGen Healthcare, athenahealth, Epic, and Oracle Health (Cerner) customers are able to reduce duplicate testing because of better integration of discrete external data at the point of care. A focus on standardization has allowed the customers of NextGen Healthcare, athenahealth, Epic, and MEDITECH to improve their transitions of care.