What Is Interoperability in Healthcare
Interoperability is the extent to which systems and devices can exchange and interpret shared data. In healthcare, effective interoperability occurs when IT and software systems to exchange shared data to create information that can be used to assist clinicians and other medical professions with patient care.
Issues Healthcare Staff Are Currently Facing
“Staff suffer from increasing workload and stricter performance measures with less flexibility. This has caused psychological and physical stress…” Science Daily.com
It’s no secret that digitising healthcare IT systems has been a slow and frustrating process for all stakeholders involved, especially the end users who have the responsibility of delivering safe patient care in a secure manner. This adds further pressure to staff who are already suffering from increased workloads and limited resources.
“We physicians have the longest training time of any profession, yet we now spend roughly two-thirds of our workday as data-entry clerks, tending to digital paperwork and administrative burdens” – WSJ.com
How Is Data Currently Manifesting Itself in Healthcare?
- Notes entered into the EHR (electronic health record)
- Documents that have been scanned as image files or pdf documents
- Discrete data such as lab test results.
“The data arrives from many different sources and systems and in multiple formats. It has to be parsed into a format that everyone understands and has been trained to act upon in an appropriate manner” Alan Brookstone
- The Tech
Data presentation can negatively influence decision making if it is presented in an illogical or intuitive way
- Human Skills
The computer skills of all staff members and knowledge of their EHR has a significant impact on data interpretation. There are many reasons why some people are less digitally literate than others.
- Upgrades and Disruption
According to AmericanEHR one of the most frequent complaints of users is that their EHR does not have the necessary tools or capabilities to perform a certain function. Sometimes the staff are unaware that their EHR has the functionality as they haven’t been trained to use the product properly. In other cases their system may require an upgrade. Upgrades can be complex and entire servers may need to be shut down for maintenance. Consequently, upgrades are often delayed because of the disruption.
How Can We Succeed?
Lack of interoperability leads to poor outcomes, therefore the issue must be tackled to ensure quality control.
We believe merging simple-to-use, reliable technology and adequate human support and training will result in the ultimate success of any EHR implementation.
So a move towards cloud-based systems will have a definite advantage as the software is updated centrally by the vendor with limited need to update technology at the user end.
The most significant impact would become apparent with changes to government regulations. G Cloud is an initiative that assists with the procurement by public sector departments in the UK of cloud based commodity IT services. Traditionally, vendors have to be certified as compliant by the Department of Health which inhibits better products and slows down new system implementation. G Cloud is a way of shifting away from more primitive systems and offers a positive step towards improving the efficiency of EHR software and communication tools.
At Bitjam we pride ourselves on finding continuous ways to improve developer documentation, with cloud-based systems and use of more consistent data design at the forefront of what we do. Our mission is to use technology for social good, so if you have a digital healthcare problem that you’d like to solve, email us at [email protected] to find out more about our previous work.
2018 has opened lots of opportunity for us to focus on more data and IoT projects recently, including Staffordshire-based environmental measurement and control company Meaco.
“(Meaco provide) a range of environmental monitoring and control equipment to include data loggers, handheld devices, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and controllers”.
They specialise in providing products and services for high profile national treasures including museums, industrial archives, heritage sites and financial institutions.
Bitjam are to provide a modern solution to replace the current, soon-to-be outmoded hardware and provide effective and highly secure software. To discover more about the project, we’re using our R&D cycle to decipher the requirements, to accurately develop and test hardware and to build appropriate software with scalability in mind.
Currently we’re in the process of getting two units working in the field trial. This has involved the setup of Raspberry Pi’s with software and security configuration, and installing in two different real-situation environments such as a museum or bank.
The project is part of a longer process of working in partnership with Meaco to replace existing software to more modernised and scalable cloud-based technology.
The technology will revolutionise the way that Meaco provide high profile partner services, who deliver a mostly public sector service themselves. This boost of their services has a social benefit so it’s an appealing project to us, as it’s our preference to work in partnership with companies who have a similarly social vision.
We are working in partnership with Meaco director and system creator Michael Hall to innovate the entire system, which has given us a very hands-on experience (something we very much prefer to do at bitjam!). Together we’re working through the challenges of innovating the systems in such a way that business as usual is not affected and that clients are not disrupted during the transition.
If you have an IoT project with a social or public sector benefit and need a partner to develop both hardware and/or software, get in touch! You can drop us an email for a chat at [email protected]
Also, if you have requirements for an environmental monitoring system, we can highly recommend Meaco.
Contact Michael at [email protected]
Even as far back as 12,000 years ago, visual tools were being used to communicate data. Back then, it was cave paintings, like the ones found in the Lascaux caves in France. Carefully painted onto cave walls, drawings of star patterns were used to aid navigation at night. A slightly less sophisticated Google Maps, if you will. Ever since, we’ve continued to use visual aids to help us understand information, but today’s complex data sets require more refined tools.
Particularly in industry, we’ve been hearing a lot about big data. While it’s undeniable that all businesses generate data, the ability to organise, visualise and communicate this information is an entirely different story. Here are five steps to gaining effective insights through data.
#1 Create a strategy
A business strategy is something no modern enterprise can do without. In fact, organisations often implement similar strategies across numerous departments, with marketing, logistics and recruitment taking centre stage.
Unfortunately, the same can’t always be said for data management. To take control, an organisation must highlight what kind of data is useful to it, what tactics or software is being used to capture the information and ultimately, how it can use this data to its advantage.
#2 Educate yourself
Undoubtedly, the thought of shifting through paperwork and staring at spreadsheets fills most of us with dread, but what’s the use of collecting data if the information is left to gather dust? The more data an organisation collects, the more things it can use it for. For example, if a manufacturer discovers through data analysis that its energy efficiency has dropped substantially, it could use production data to correct the problem. Without data analysis, this issue may not have even been identified in the first place.
#3 Time to analyse
Analysing data isn’t always the long-winded, complicated procedure it’s perceived to be. Today, digital tools and software allow organisations to access and read data in much simpler ways. Analysed correctly, organisational data can be used to identify new business models, influence organisational decisions and improve operations. It just takes a little patience.
#4 Let’s get visual
While it’s true that traditional spreadsheets, graphs and charts are an option, they certainly aren’t the most engaging. When it comes to data visualisation, there are numerous options out there for organisations to use, both free and paid for. Online tool Tableau for example, offers drag and drop data analysis, enabling organisations to connect and visualise data in a matter of minutes.
#5 Teach everybody else
By simplifying and visualising data, you’re already on the right track to engaging your employees, customers and stakeholders. What’s important is that you take this organisational information and use it to tell a story or solve a problem. From there you can discuss the findings, take suggestions and implement the appropriate changes.
By taking your visual reports and making them accessible online, or on your company intranet you can encourage KPIs, set new business models and even highlight flaws in the current structure of the business; none of which would be possible without data collection and visualisation.
For many organisations, data isn’t just big, it’s huge. As data becomes more complicated, visualisation and communication must become simpler. Bitjam can help your organisation create intelligent and informative reports using interactive technology. Ultimately, helping you to engage and communicate with your staff, stakeholders and customers, without a spreadsheet – or cave painting – in sight.