Pandemic Stresses National Need for Seamless Information Sharing Between Healthcare Providers, Black Book 2020 Interoperability Surveys

Press Release | Black Book Research | August 3, 2020

Two of three consumers revealed they will consider changing their physician and hospital providers in the coming year after learning how their health record was not shareable or available or was blocked in the past year

TAMPA, Fla., August 3, 2020 ( - Five hundred and nine managers of frontline providers confirm the lack of general interoperability across the entire U.S. health care system has detracted from COVID-19 patient care, led to poor health outcomes and higher expenditures, and left population health data muddy and deficient.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in April it would delay the enforcement of its Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rules until 2021, allowing health organizations and practices a few more months to install an infrastructure that supports true interoperability to ensure the effective transmission and exchange of patient data.

Ninety percent of health system leaders surveyed confirmed that the delay removed any incentive for their organizations to prioritize true interoperability through the coming year, despite the benefits it would provide dealing with the pandemic.

"Portability of data in the middle of this pandemic is vital," said Doug Brown, President of the survey organization Black Book Research. "But resolving systemic data blocking and platforms interfering with the exchange of patient data are not on the industry's front burner."

"The enforcement of interoperability standards put forth by HHS, because of the COVID-19 crisis, has greatly slowed," said Brown. "But vendors have continued to introduce and roll out a wide variety of possibilities to support providers and health care systems in meeting the requirements."

Doug BrownNinety-three percent of survey participants report that complete patient health pictures have not been reaching the downstream COVID-19 clinicians upon admission.

According to 79% of respondents, manual processes are failing to gather and submit COVID-19 information with public health agencies consistently.

In a separate Black Book survey of 2,517 health care consumers across all 50 states. 324 COVID-19-diagnosed patients reported they were treated in new care environments in 2020, yet not one consumer stated their full patient record was available to their COVID treatment provider electronically.

Twenty-two percent of surveyed health care consumers stated they had difficulty or were unable to access their normal providers to obtain records electronically, via fax or in person in 2020.

Closed clinics and practices hampered ability to fax or retrieve records according to 11% of consumers polled.

"Interoperability will obviously affect and enable consumer behavior in the years ahead as a result of the lack of data sharing and troubles with data blocking during this pandemic," said Brown.

Ninety-three percent of consumers polled in July 2020 expressed their disappointment in the lack of data sharing during COVID 19 across separate vendor systems. 55% placed blame on their provider. 31% placed blame on the EHR their provider chose to utilize.

Sixty-seven percent of consumers revealed they will consider changing their physician and hospital providers in the coming year after learning how their health record was not shareable or available or was blocked in the past year.

"The greatest constraint of the health care industry is not the capabilities of technology to share data seamlessly, but rather the intricate and complex conundrum of data and system integration, big data, multiple information exchanges, and federal regulations," said Brown.

The market comprises a wide array of interoperability segments that cumulatively support information sharing including application programming interface integration, app integration, data cleansing, data integration, EMPI, data analytics, and connectivity.

"Recognizing the electronic health records and revenue cycle management IT market places are highly fragmented, it will be critical for developers to identify best practices across disparate platforms to ensure the consistency of adoption to meet the expectations of health care consumers," said Brown. "The regulatory drive to command greater interoperability is also advancing new opportunities in health care technology including privacy and data security."

About Black Book

Black Book Market Research LLC, its founder, management and staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the coding solutions vendors covered and encompassed in the surveys it conducts. Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media before firm notification of rating results and does not solicit survey participation fees, review fees, inclusion or briefing charges, or involve consultant firm collaboration with Black Book before the announcement of the polling outcomes.

Black Book rankings are based on client experience scores obtained from the 660,000 crowdsourced ballots cast and available through mobile apps, web surveys, remote polling instruments, interview calls, and on-site trade shows and user groups throughout the year. They represent the opinions of health care professionals and clinicians from more than 4,600 hospitals, 600 IDNs, 2,800 clinics, 23,000 physician practices, 250 health plans, and nearly 505,000 health care industry consumers, and account for 6,000 products and services from more than 1,700 vendors.

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Source: Black Book Research