Healthcare providers are suffering from data breaches at an alarming rate. While these attacks can have serious financial impact on health organizations, the effects on patient lives can be devastating.
Against the backdrop of a global health crisis, news that the U.S. federal government published its Final Rule on Interoperability likely went unnoticed to many delivery system leaders outside of healthcare IT. However, the federal mandate marks a very important milestone in U.S. patient health: mandating secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information.
It’s not entirely unexpected that communication may take a backseat to more pressing issues – such as serving the victims of the virus. COVID-19 has made things more difficult for all of us to work under a “normal course of business,” so it makes sense that health plans would be even more impacted. However, the issue may not be due to a lack of desire to communicate – but more, a lack of ability to communicate effectively.
Virtual care delivery offers much more than social distancing and convenience; it allows organizations to “meet the patient where they are” and overcome barriers to care such as lack of transportation and rural isolation.
From a technology perspective, the evolution of COVID-19 has turned out to be a sort of proving ground for the concepts discussed in those January focus groups. Rather than being pushed to the back burner, efforts to achieve connected care through data optimization are ever more critical.