Standardized Terminology and Language in Informatics
This week’s graded discussion topic relates to the following Course Outcomes (COs).
Preparing the Discussion
• Discussions are designed to promote dialogue between faculty and students, and students and their peers. In discussions students:
o Demonstrate understanding of concepts for the week
o Integrate outside scholarly sources when required
o Engage in meaningful dialogue with classmates and/or instructor
o Express opinions clearly and logically, in a professional manner
• Use the rubric on this page as you compose your answers.
• Best Practices include:
o Participation early in the week is encouraged to stimulate meaningful discussion among classmates and instructor.
o Enter the discussion often during the week to read and learn from posts.
o Select different classmates for your reply each week.
Standardized Terminology and Language in Informatics is an important part of healthcare. Nurses and healthcare workers need to understand and be able to communicate clearly.
Please select one of the following options and discuss your understanding of the role in healthcare and its potential impact on your practice.
• Meaningful Use (Meaningful Use terminology has largely been replaced by the phrase ‘Promoting Interoperability’ or ‘PI’)
• Reimbursement from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment
The role of interoperability.
Interoperability refers to the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged. In healthcare, interoperability is important for allowing the secure sharing of patient data across organizations and providers. When electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, and other digital tools can seamlessly interface with each other, it streamlines care coordination and supports data-driven clinical decision making.
Some key benefits of interoperability in healthcare include:
Reduced medical errors and duplication of services. When providers have access to a patient’s full medical history from different sites of care, it prevents issues like adverse drug interactions, duplicate tests, and other inconsistencies that can arise from lack of information sharing.
Improved patient outcomes and experience of care. Interoperability allows providers to have a more comprehensive view of a patient as a person rather than just focusing on an isolated issue or encounter. This holistic perspective on health status and care received can lead to better management of chronic conditions and prevention of health declines. It also reduces inconvenience and frustration for patients who do not have to repeatedly provide the same medical details.
Support for population health management and value-based care models. As healthcare payment moves from fee-for-service to alternative payment models emphasizing quality and outcomes rather than volume, interoperability is needed to track performance on measures like preventive screenings, management of chronic diseases, hospital readmissions, and other indicators of cost and care effectiveness for a defined patient population.
Enhanced preparedness for emergencies and disasters. During public health emergencies or natural disasters, the ability to quickly access patient records from other facilities is critical. Interoperability supports continuity of care when people are evacuated or seek care outside their usual healthcare system.
While interoperability has improved in recent years thanks to policies like the 21st Century Cures Act and incentives for adopting electronic health records, full interoperability across the entire U.S. healthcare system remains a work in progress. Legal and regulatory barriers, as well as financial and technical challenges, still impede the seamless flow of patient data between providers. Continued focus on addressing these issues can help unlock interoperability’s potential to transform healthcare delivery and outcomes.
In my own nursing practice, interoperability would enhance my ability to provide safe, high-quality and coordinated care. Having access to a comprehensive longitudinal health history on any patient in my care could help me identify issues to proactively address, engage in more informed shared decision making, and reduce risks of errors from missing information. It would support delivering truly patient-centered care.