OCT 30, 2009 5:35am ET

Related Links

CIO/CMO Collaboration: Two Different Worlds
August 20, 2014
Modernizing Information Management in Insurance
August 18, 2014
Health Information Exchange Requires Nationwide Patient Data Matching Strategy
August 14, 2014

Web Seminars

Attract and Keep Shoppers with Product Information Management
August 21, 2014
Why Data Virtualization Can Save the Data Warehouse
September 17, 2014
Essential Guide to Using Data Virtualization for Big Data Analytics
September 24, 2014

Doc to Feds: Tighten Standards

Print
Reprints
Email

National standards for health data exchange permit too much variability and must be tightened, a family practitioner told a federal advisory board on Oct. 29. The implementation workgroup of the HIT Standards Committee is taking testimony from providers, vendors, quality measures experts and others on the challenges of implementing health information systems and exchanging data.

Floyd Bradd, M.D., founder of Skyline Family Practice in Front Royal, Va., gave several examples of the challenges of automating and the need for standardized standards. In written testimony, he explained the frustrations of establishing interfaces with labs:

"The interface process is different for each laboratory company. Even if they use the standard ASTM format, they interpret it in different ways and use a different terminology for individual lab tests. This then requires separate identifiable costs and processes to configure those interfaces. This is obviously a strain on any practice but in particular a small practice. Sometimes, even the same laboratory company will have regional differences in how they implement a lab interface for their particular customer. It is important that a single standard for laboratory data be selected nationally. Additionally, there should be an implementation guide that prevents variation within the standard with standardized terminology."

Bradd recalled his three-physician practice suffering a significant loss of cash flow over a two-month period when converting to electronic claims submission in 2005:

"This was due to the fact that although there was a standard for electronic submission of claims, the interpretation and implementation of those standards was left up to the third-party carriers. As a result, there were data fields that were different amongst different carriers. The delays in refining the different claims needs of the carriers caused us to nearly 'go under' financially. Things are working fine now, but not without that initial difficulty due to lack of fully standardized interoperability. I hope this example highlights the need for a clear and 'locked down' standard that will not be subject to interpretation or alteration by people/entities for their own needs."

Bradd also described the difficulties physicians have with connecting to local hospitals to receive patient data:

"Some hospital systems frankly ignore the importance of interoperability with smaller practices. Other systems decide on an EHR which they will support with a 'take it or leave it' approach. In other words, either you get that EHR the hospital supports or you will be left out to fend for yourself. Sure, helping hospital systems finance the interfacing with all practices who have certified EHRs will help. However, more important would be having a standard communication interface for clinical data."

For Bradd's complete testimony and the testimony of other organizations, click here.

This article can also be found at HealthDataManagement.com.

Get access to this article and thousands more...

All Information Management articles are archived after 7 days. REGISTER NOW for unlimited access to all recently archived articles, as well as thousands of searchable stories. Registered Members also gain access to:

  • Full access to information-management.com including all searchable archived content
  • Exclusive E-Newsletters delivering the latest headlines to your inbox
  • Access to White Papers, Web Seminars, and Blog Discussions
  • Discounts to upcoming conferences & events
  • Uninterrupted access to all sponsored content, and MORE!

Already Registered?

Filed under:

Advertisement

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments:
You must be registered to post a comment.
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Login  |  My Account  |  White Papers  |  Web Seminars  |  Events |  Newsletters |  eBooks
FOLLOW US
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.