Imagine a world in which users could not send mail outside their own service provider. That is, you could only send email to people with a Gmail account if you have a Gmail id and the same applies for other providers such as Yahoo or Outlook. Thankfully we do not live in such a world and we are able to send mail freely to anyone because of the presence of standardized email protocols such as SMTP, POP3, IMAP etc.
Unfortunately, the same situation does not prevail in the EHR market and medical data is often trapped inside provider silos or within hospital/clinical walls. Even doctors using systems that are Meaningful Use certified for interoperability find it difficult to share data freely. One of the main goals with the transition to EHRs was having one chart for each patient which would be capable of showing their entire medical history. But the reality is that we are very far from achieving that due to a number of factors.
Perhaps the most important factor is the lack of a standard protocol that defines importing and exporting medical data between multiple products. Though there are interoperability objectives built into the meaningful use program, EHR providers are only required to show that they are capable of importing and exporting data which may not necessarily be in the same format or even contain the same information. This means that imported data will often have to be corrected and reordered before it can be useful.
Another hindrance towards sharing is the fact that not all EHR products are built on cloud platforms. For example on Android devices, users can sync data between multiple instances of the same app using Google’s cloud platform as long as the developer has enabled the option. Sadly there is no such alternative when it comes to medical data. In fact, very few EHR developers use the cloud within their product. The majority of EHR systems currently in use have no cloud capabilities beyond basic options like email.
Unlike consumer software, hospitals and clinics do not have an incentive to share data with each other. Medical professionals are used to autonomy and control over clinical information and often they are reluctant to relinquish it in favor of a more open model. But some products like Dovetail are attempting to change the landscape. Dovetail dental EHR is a cloud based dental software, built with interoperability in mind. Dovetail is made for collaborating. Whether within your own clinic or with referring dentists, Dovetail dental software makes it easy to share files and collaborate on treatment plans without ever having to manage emails and faxes. Also, Dovetail Connect™ is a powerful communication and collaboration tool for dental professionals. The platform simplifies the patient referral process between dentists and specialists. For more information, visit this page.