The lesson evaluates four types of data interchange standards that exist in healthcare: all communication between medical devices and electronic medical records, digital imaging communications, administrative data exchange, and clinical data exchange.
Data Interchange Standards in Healthcare
Have you ever been in a hospital? If you haven't, congratulations! That's quite a feat. If you have, then chances are when you were in there you noticed a few things. When you were staying in the hospital, I bet there were a lot of machines and devices beeping and displaying numbers proudly. I also bet that a number of nurses wheeled computers around wherever they would go so that they could complete all kinds of tasks, from big to small, including medication administration.
I also bet that if you had any x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs done, you can request those images as well as your medical chart and they will present you with a digital copy to take to your primary care physician. Finally, did they stop by your room or ask you to stop by before you left so they could go over some billing information? Did the person conduct all of his or her work from a computer? These are all examples of the various types of data interchange standards that exist in healthcare today.
Throughout the history of healthcare, medicine has evolved, and the introduction of computers and technology has helped aid in patient outcomes and disease management. It has also worked to ease the job of the physicians, nurses, ancillary staff, and hospital administrators so that better quality outcomes can be achieved and in a quick manner. In addition, these data interchange standards play a vital role in providing safe patient care. This also contributes to the culture of safety.
Medical Devices & EMR Communication
To be specific, four types of data interchange standards exist within the field of healthcare today. The first standard refers to the communication that takes place between medical devices and between devices and electronic medical records (EMRs). This communication is exactly as it sounds: information is processed by an electronic device such as an ECG monitor, ventilator, or even an IV infusion pump and dropped directly into the electronic medical record of that patient. This type of technology eases the workload of the nurse, makes results more readily available for the physician so quicker and more accurate care can be provided, and reduces the potential for errors to occur by eliminating a third party to have to input the information.
Digital Imaging Communication
The second type of data interchange standard is digital imaging communication, addressing the communication that takes place between radiological images and the practitioners who read/interpret them to the practitioners who will then base their treatment plan off of that interpretation. When a radiological image is taken, it is converted into a digital file that a radiologist can then view via a computer or tablet. The radiologist then dictates his or her findings and then the report and image can be delivered to the physician who ordered the test. Based on this communication, the physician will then make or modify the plan of care to suit the patient's needs.
Administrative Data Exchange
Administrative data exchange is the third type of data interchange standard that is widely used throughout healthcare. This refers to the administrative duties that exist within the hospital, such as billing and coding to insurance companies so that payments can be rendered for services. While probably not thought about often, this type of data is processed from clinical notes, admitting diagnoses, progress notes, laboratory data, and radiological data. The information is then processed and exchanged into data and numbers that can be submitted to an insurer system, and payment can be sought.
Another important example of administrative data exchange includes the transference of data that relates to clinical standards that are reimbursable. For many hospitals and organizations, payment is not guaranteed just because the service is performed. Information is exchanged with specific organizations in order to prove that safe and effective care was performed in order to receive payment. For example, information regarding catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) is tracked and must be provided. If it is determined that the patient received a CAUTI during that hospitalization, payment for treatment related to the CAUTI will not be provided, versus if the patient presented to the ER and was admitted for treatment of a UTI, it is not traceable to the hospital and will, therefore, be reimbursable.
Clinical Data Exchange
The final type of data interchange standards used within healthcare is known as clinical data exchange and refers to the exchange of clinical data into the EMR. This refers to laboratory data that must be added to the medical record or even the digital imaging communication reports that must be added to the chart as well. Data like this is woven throughout the EMR and it important so that physicians and nurses have all the essential information needed to provide care. It is also important for administrative data exchange to take place.
In conclusion, data interchange standards are crucial to healthcare's survival. It has evolved to help and make the communication between various data sources to the electronic medical records much faster and more accurate. This, in turn, has helped to improve patient outcomes and standards of care. The four data interchange standards that exist in healthcare include communication between medical devices and between devices and EMRs, digital imaging communications, administrative data exchange, and clinical data exchange. Communication between these standards and healthcare providers needs to be comprehensive and thorough. Gaps between systems or redundancies can create issues and delay patient care and treatments.