Edifecs Tackles Interoperability Issues for the Healthcare Industry

BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 9, 2015Today, Edifecs, a global health information technology solutions company, unveiled the results of the company’s recent participation at FHIR Connectathon 8, one of the health IT industry’s largest standards-based interoperability testing events.  At Connectathon 8, Edifecs was the only company to present interoperability spanning electronic medical records (EMR) system and external partners, such as payer systems.

To demonstrate cross-enterprise interoperability between payers and providers, Edifecs leveraged Open EMR, Edifecs XEServer and a third-party Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) server. As part of the demonstration, the Edifecs team successfully converted Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to an FHIR Patient Resource with integration to Open EMR. In the simple but important demonstration, Edifecs was able to show that investments by the industry in CDA R.2 constructs can be leveraged and made interoperable using FHIR Resources without a major re-write of interfaces and native EMR functionality.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC), provider industry groups, and even Congress, are putting pressure on healthcare IT and EMR vendors to make data more shareable.  Interoperability and the ability to share and consolidate data across the care continuum are critical to achieving Triple Aim. The only way to achieve this interoperability at scale is by implementing industry standards. As a result, it is likely that FHIR will be included in future standards, such as Meaningful Use Stage 3 (MU3).

FHIR is gaining significant traction in the healthcare IT space with support from leaders like, John D. Halamka and Micky Tripathi.  In December 2014, Chuck Jaffe announced The Argonaut Project, an effort to accelerate FHIR.  Cerner, Epic, Meditech, athenahealth, McKesson, The Advisory Board and several provider organizations have agreed to provide funding and political backing to ensure that HL7 implementation guides for FHIR are available by May 2015.

“To carry our industry forward, we must walk hand-in-hand. By that, I mean partnerships are crucial, and at the crux of them is interoperability,” said Sunny Singh, President and CEO of Edifecs.  “The potential cost savings achieved from industry standards and better interoperability are in the billions of dollars. We are singularly focused on building the pathways to these partnerships to realize these efficiencies and help fix our healthcare system.”

Interoperability and the associated costs and complexity have hampered the ability to create and scale payer/provider partnerships and are the biggest barrier to creating accountable care organizations (ACOs).  There is a widely-held belief that payers and providers have conflicting interests and are reluctant to work together, but both groups need and want to share data to drive payment reform and deliver better and more affordable care. Edifecs is helping solve this challenge by developing cost effective ways to converge the clinical and administrative data streams in healthcare, thereby creating tangible, measurable value in support of collaborative payer/provider partnerships.

On January 30, 2015, the ONC released a shared nationwide interoperability roadmap for public comment.

The roadmap calls for better definition of standards, something that has been elusive in health IT to date. The roadmap’s goal is to provide steps to be taken in both the private and public sectors to create an interoperable health IT ecosystem over the next 10 years. One of the main focuses on the roadmap is to enable “a majority of individuals and providers across the care continuum to send, receive, find and use a common set of electronic clinical information at the nationwide level by the end of 2017.”

Edifecs is delivering the capability to exchange electronic clinical information to our customers.  We are committed to interoperability and look forward to participation in industry workgroups and events that seek to ease the difficulty of partnering to improve care.

About Edifecs

Edifecs develops innovative, cost-cutting information technology solutions to transform the global healthcare marketplace. Since 1996, Edifecs technology has helped healthcare providers, insurers, pharmacy benefit management companies and other trading partners trim waste, reduce costs and increase revenues. More than 350 healthcare customers today use Edifecs solutions to simplify and unify financial and clinical transactions. In addition, Edifecs develops supply chain management solutions to support worldwide customers in non-healthcare industry segments. Edifecs is based in Bellevue, WA, with operations internationally. Learn more about us at www.edifecs.com.