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Hospital EHR interoperability still advances slowly

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Researchers at Harvard, the University of California at San Francisco and a senior adviser at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have found that health systems may be improving very slowly in searching, sending, receiving and integrating patient data via electronic health record systems.  24.5 percent of hospitals were engaged in all four domains in 2014, the researchers found. In 2015, that percentage had grown  to 29.7 percent.

Perhaps more troubling was that 37.2 percent of hospitals in 2015 said they “rarely” or “never” use outside data for patient care while only 18.7 percent reported that they used outside data “often.”

In what’s probably an understatement, lead study author Jay Holmgren,  a  Harvard Business School doctoral student, said: “What this means is there is potentially a significant amount of waste and inefficiency in hospitals”.

The researchers found that — no surprise! — that hospitals that are part of a larger system and had a comprehensive EHR, as compared with a “basic” EHR system were more likely to have information from outside sources available to them than.

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