By Tim Kaschinske, Senior Product Manager, North America, BridgeHead Software
Taking place October 2-6, National Health IT Week (NHITW) is a nationwide awareness week, which brings the healthcare industry together to support the value of healthcare IT. Founded by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Institute for e-Health Policy in 2006, National Health IT Week has emerged as a landmark occasion for using health IT as part of the overall solution to improve healthcare as a bipartisan, federally led, market-driven initiative.
One such topic sure to be the focus of many discussions during the week is interoperability and the many information sharing challenges facing healthcare organizations, specifically health IT stakeholders. With offices in both the United Kingdom and the United States, BridgeHead Software understands the challenges faced by healthcare organizations on both sides of the pond, and how resolving interoperability challenges is key to the crucial ability to store, protect and share data – the lifeblood of any healthcare organization.
Interoperability at the Core of Our Company’s Solutions
Earlier this year, Matthew Swindells, National Health Service (NHS) England’s National Director of Operations and Information, delivered an address urging software providers to “not be protective about ‘your’ data” and for the NHS to “drive openness and data sharing into the system.” Swindell’s words, which also ring true for US healthcare organizations and regulatory entities, are what led our President and CEO Jim Beagle, to pen a commentary for the UK-based technology website, ITProPortal.com, arguing that common standards and an open approach to patient data in healthcare holds the key to successful integration of health and social care.
Beagle goes on to write how “interoperability has always been at the very of core of our business and solutions.” After all, Beagle argues, “Patient data is, or should be, a strategic and independent asset viewed in isolation from the application that created it and the storage on which it resides, to enable hospitals to standardize access to key elements of the patient record while simultaneously freeing them from the vendor lock-in mentioned earlier. We believe that healthcare providers should opt for a single, enterprise-wide, repository for all clinical information that is capable of ingesting all manner of data formats from a variety of applications and departments to offer an all-encompassing, future-proof solution to the management of hospital data.”
Joining an Alliance Focused on Extending Interoperability
More recently, BridgeHead Software announced, just this week, that we have become a member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, the not-for-profit trade association made up of diverse health IT stakeholders dedicated to extending interoperability to new users and care settings, including patient portals. Our Independent Clinical Archive, HealthStore®, promotes interoperability across healthcare stakeholders and unlocks access to crucial patient data, complementary to the mission of the Alliance.
So as our industry comes together to celebrate National Health Information Technology (NHIT) Week, we hope great minds can continue working towards solving the interoperability challenges that still burden our industry on a global scale.
“Resolving interoperability challenges is key to the crucial ability to store, protect and share data – the lifeblood of any healthcare organization”, said Jim Beagle, CEO & President, BridgeHead Software.