Solving Healthcare’s EHR Communication Problem


Health systems tend to use multiple EHR vendors, which can lead to major communication problems, and cause data discrepancies, additional expenses, and errors.

Fortunately for healthcare providers, new standards and technology have emerged that should improve interoperability.

EHR Communication Issues

The average health system uses 18 EHR vendors across its affiliated providers. Yet despite being on the same network, these EHRs have problems communicating with one another, explained the Lown Institute. This can have many negative consequences such as patients being unable to access their records, billing errors, duplicated prescription information and tests, patient misidentification, and doctors needing to transfer health data in an antiquated way, like a disc.

With such poor communication among disparate systems, data is often difficult to access. Trying to bridge those gaps requires staff members to spend time manually sifting through that data to determine what is and isn’t correct. The issue becomes even more challenging when one health network has to access data from a different one. With healthcare already facing a staff shortage, this adds a massive burden to employees.

Creating a More Cohesive System

To address these issues, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has sought to create standards for interoperability across different health networks. In December, CMS launched the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), which created guidelines to improve the exchange of information across EHRs. Five organizations have already signed on to use TEFCA and have gone live and two more are also implementing the standards. CMS is encouraging other health systems to do the same.

Establishing standards and governance for interoperability is a major milestone, but health systems running multiple EHRs also may need to look to technology to solve other issues with exchanging information outside of patient records. Practice Management Bridge can seamlessly integrate with any EHR, allowing practices to manage numerous administrative functions and improve visibility across the organization, such as tracking and reconciling payment information, communicating with patients, managing compliance, and more. The platform is EHR/PMS-agnostic and currently has many direct integrations that add even more efficiency. Providers using Practice Management Bridge have stated that having so much functionality has allowed them to consolidate many of their current technology vendors – one multilocation organization in particular was able to consolidate over a dozen systems.

The need to move from one administrative task to another, logging in and out of systems, creates a time crunch that can keep healthcare staff from helping patients. Practice Management Bridge solves that problem by unifying everything into a single platform. This experience allows providers that utilize multiple Rectangle Health’s products—Bridge Payments, Bridge Compliance, or Bridge Engagement—to navigate from one component to another easily.

Improving Interoperability with Patient Communication Platforms

While efforts like TEFCA should be applauded and have great potential to improve the healthcare system, in the near term, internal interoperability must be a priority for healthcare providers. Practice Management Bridge can integrate with the systems you have in place or help you consolidate them while helping you to improve patient communication efforts, process payments quickly, and maintain HIPAA and OSHA compliance—all in one, consolidated platform. Rectangle Health is the only provider in the market that offers this kind of all-in-one functionality that seamlessly connects to your EHR or PMS. The new era of practice management begins now.

Interested in learning more about Practice Management Bridge and Unified Platform? Learn more and schedule a demo today.

Get started today!

Thousands of providers like you supercharge their front office with Practice Management Bridge. Schedule a call to see how we can help reduce admin work, so you can focus on your patients.

Book a Demo