The U.S. has made significant strides to enable interoperability in our healthcare systems. Today, providers and patients expect medical records at their fingertips. New advancements in technology have enabled these achievements, but our work is not complete yet. During the final Nursing Informatics and IHE Joint Webinar, Solutions and How to Engage Within Interoperability, Cathy Ivory, PhD, RNC-OB, RN-BC, Indiana University Health; and Emma Jones, RN, MSN-BC, Allscripts; explored the solutions and opportunities within IHE International (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) to engage nurses in health IT to impact patient care.
Data Overload in Health IT
In today’s information-rich world, data is king. New data sources are discovered daily from patient health devices, apps, and repositories. In the maternal health world, there are approximately 20 data registries alone! The available data sources in healthcare are infinite. However, data elements overlap and aren’t mapped to standard definitions to create meaningful data, says Cathy Ivory.
Nurses are Critical to Advance Interoperability
IHE International provides solutions for standardization, but the industry needs more clinical experts to help guide standards development and advocate the use of established standards in healthcare. Nurses are critical to achieving real, sustainable interoperability. Unfortunately, their voice is still small in the health IT world. Nurses must guide data scientists and health IT vendors to capture the key data elements with each patient encounter while still maintaining high-quality care.
How can Nurses Participate?
IHE International has led the charge over two decades by developing use cases focused on patient care that solve today’s interoperability challenges through the coordinated use of established standards and multiple disciplines. Nurses can collaborate with IHE and join the work already in motion with many opportunities to participate and advance patient care.
- Learn about the existing IHE Profiles or standards that will help improve care coordination and advocate for their implementation
- Volunteer in IHE’s committees to help develop new IHE Profiles
- Speak up and submit your toughest interoperability challenges to be solved by IHE
- Voice your opinion on new IHE profiles in IHE’s Public Comment
- Encourage your health IT vendors to participate in IHE’s Global Connectathons to advance interoperability