The Technical Infrastructure of Healthcare

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The Technical Infrastructure of Healthcare DiscussionI would like to begin this week’s discussion based on a recent scenario that I experienced. I called and made an appointment with my physician, whom I’ve used for many years. I was told to arrive about 30 minutes early for my appointment because they had a new system and I would have some paperwork to complete. This physician’s office is not a part of any other healthcare system and he had been using another EHR system for quite some time, maybe 10 years. Upon arrival for the appointment, I was given all the paperwork to complete as if I were a new patient, including all of my past medical history. I could remember most of it but I know I missed some things. It did take quite a bit of time to complete but I was finally able to be seen.The medical assistant took all of my vital signs and told me that I was the second patient of the day and this was the first day of using their new system. She thought I was a new patient since I had all new paperwork and I told her I had actually been a patient there for a number of years. After clicking around in the system for several minutes, she said she just didn’t know where to input my vital signs and she left the room. I could hear the conversation outside of the room I was in and there was someone from the software company there to reassure her and help her, so my vital signs were added. So, as we are talking about the technical aspects of systems this week, I would like to ask you for your thoughts on how interoperability might play into this scenario. Do you see any evidence of interoperability? If not, how might it be incorporated and what might the outcomes of that be? How might this impact patient care?

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