The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology called home health agencies the “first line of defense in the delivery of care” for many patients. With this important responsibility, it’s integral that agencies utilize EHR software that enables seamless care transitions. Agencies need to be able to exchange health information without running into technological roadblocks to provide the highest quality care.
Interoperability is the key that allows this unobstructed exchange of data. The ONC understands this growing need for interoperability. In its comments on home health and applicable meaningful use standards, it asserted that:
“As work progresses on these standards it is important that home health is adequately prepared to receive, digest, and transmit data coming from multiple external sources.”
But data coming from “multiple external sources” may be an understatement. Americans 65 and older see an average of 28.4 doctors over the course of their lifetime, according to a survey by GfK Roper. Even more headache-inducing is the statistic that the average patient’s health is dependent on at least 200 pieces of paper in 19 different locations. Faced with this filing frenzy, it’s no surprise then that 89 percent of providers believe electronic data exchanges improve the patient’s quality of care, according to a report by ONC.
Interoperability doesn’t just cut down on administrative stresses, though. It ensures that patients receive the correct care wherever they are and reduces medical errors, such as a doctor prescribing the wrong drug because he was unable to access the patient’s medical file.
With these issues in mind, it’s clear that home health agencies need electronic records software optimized for interoperability to provide the best care and the smoothest care transitions. Thornberry’s industry-leading NDoc® software connects your agency to your patients’ health networks.