Why is Interoperability Essential to the Future of EHR Mobile Apps

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TL;DR
Mobile EHR apps must take into consideration a key element on interoperability which is paramount in the electronic healthcare industry. There is a early riser to setting the example for others to follow, Substitutable Medical Apps and Reusable Technology, or SMART.

Interoperability

Teams at Boston Children’s Hospital have recently developed an interface that can work on any EHR with a standardized code embedded in the existing technology, telling programmable apps where to pull their data from.

In order for this technology to have the greatest impact on the healthcare system, the interface, known as the SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps and Reusable Technology) program, is available for free. The SMART program has the support of AARP, Surescripts, the CMS, and more, all of whom have joined an advisory committee to back the product.

This technology will completely change how we think about EHR. Currently, each electronic medical record company operates independently. If a hospital wants to prioritize or flag any patient history within a medical record, the company has to build a software update that every provider using the EMR must download.

Boston Children’s Hospital has begun to use the SMART program with their EHR provider, and is developing apps to demonstrate the functions of the program. Intermountain Healthcare, a 22-hospital provider organization in Utah, and the Healthcare Corporation of America, based out of Nashville, are in the process of applying the technology. The Healthcare Corporation of America is expected to release their apps as early as the start of 2015.

The SMART program will allow for the creation of apps that include relevant background information in a patient diagnosis. If app requirements are included in the federal regulations for Meaningful Use, EHR apps may become even more widespread, aiding both providers and their patients.

Author: Lauren Daniels

One thought on “Why is Interoperability Essential to the Future of EHR Mobile Apps

  1. This program could be revolutionary for health IT and could also help increase EHR mobility. It is possible that future meaningful use requirements will include mobile applications.

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