Competitive and cost pressures are pushing us harder than ever toward an interoperability model. We see this come to life in the spate of recent mega-deals, including: CVS buying Aetna in 2018, GM Motors contracting with Henry Ford Health Systems to launch direct-to-employer healthcare, and companies like Amazon, Berkshire, and JP Morgan teaming up to tackle employee health. When those kinds of companies come together, so do their systems, creating an opportunity to gain insight from rapid aggregation. This all can lead more quickly to new strategies, products, and services. It also can lead to an invaluable source of truth for patient data — all of which will improve trust between providers and patients, and, ultimately, healthcare outcomes.
The initial phase of going digital helped create the EHR system. Now we aim to go beyond EHR and toward API-enabled, interoperable systems. Technology has advanced so much in the past decade; our toolkit is so much more robust, with blockchain, advanced analytics, and, of course, CRM. They are not, however, all neatly packaged in the EHR.
At Salesforce, we see so many factors speeding us toward interoperability: the rise of value-based care and regulatory disruption, the accelerated creation of industry data and services, as well as the need to access modern digital capabilities. It’s all exciting but it will take time before interoperability becomes routine and patients can reasonably expect a consumer experience that is as convenient as ordering dinner online or getting served entertainment that understands their tastes. It also doesn’t feel all that far away. In this guide, we explore the need for interoperability in our healthcare system, the roadblocks preventing it from thriving, the interim steps we need to take, and the role of integration. Then we introduce you to industry pioneers who are paving the way for truly connected healthcare.