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Notifyre: working to achieve interoperability in healthcare

2 mins
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Consistent communication of patient information remains a well-known issue in the Australian healthcare industry, with a disconnect between healthcare providers, practitioners and patients alike. Although we are seeing huge digital transformation in other sectors such as financial services and aviation, healthcare is still reliant on traditional messaging mediums, like fax machines, due to unavailable interoperable communications technologies.  

Secure message delivery (SMD) products have developed throughout the 21st century, however, are still not yet capable of connecting to multiple different clinical systems. Advancement in digital technologies has created an opportunity for Notifyre to address these significant barriers and work towards achieving interoperability in healthcare through our innovative communications products.

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) states that “Interoperability will allow healthcare providers to have access to the right information at the right time to support them in providing high quality and safe care. At the same time, individuals will be confident that their data is secure and that they have access and control over their information".   

We take a dive into the concept of interoperability, why it’s important in the healthcare sector and how you can make the move to more secure and interoperable communications technologies.


What is healthcare interoperability?

The concept of interoperability in healthcare is complex, but is defined by ADHA in their National Digital Health Strategy as ‘...the ability to move information easily between people, organisations and systems.’  

Simply put, interoperability in healthcare is the ability to develop a seamless and secure connection between previously disconnected clinical systems, improving the flow of information across the healthcare sector.

The ADHA goes on to explain interoperability in healthcare in their 2017 report as the:

  • Key component to delivering wellbeing for all,
  • Enabler for continuity of care, with safety and quality as a priority, and  
  • Agreed standards that efficiently link information and systems together.


Why is interoperability important in healthcare?

2019 journal article says that important parts of medical information are often lost as patients move through for healthcare system. For example, if a patient requires hospitalisation, relevant information from previous visits to the doctor, medication and other details required to determine a diagnosis may not be available.  

Interoperability is important in healthcare as it enables healthcare providers and practitioners to access the necessary information about their patients when they require.

2018 survey conducted on interoperability in healthcare found that 80% of healthcare professionals feel data sharing has the potential to optimise the healthcare industry. GP at Augusta Road Medical Centre Dr Daniel Kulbac responded with “...my working day has the potential to flow infinitely better with streamlining of referrals results, investigation requests, scripts, patient education etc assisted by the introduction of cloud technology and the flow on effects from this.”

The ADHA Framework for Action states that successful interoperability in healthcare will result in:

  • Improved coordination of patient care, resulting in reduced medical errors and avoided hospitalisations,
  • Reduced demand for services through improved self-care regimes, and
  • Improved patient and healthcare provider experiences through a better connected health system.


What are the challenges the healthcare sector faces towards achieving interoperability?

Adopting new interoperable communications technologies in healthcare will help to streamline business workflows and improve overall patient outcomes. However, it does not come without its persistent challenges and barriers.  

Data sharing agreements, security and privacy regulations, governance rules, user authentication, activity monitoring, standards for data exchange (such as HL7 FHIR framework or CDA) and more.

These challenges will need to be addressed before interoperability can be achieved in healthcare.


How to move your healthcare organisation towards interoperability in 2021

2018 journal article on the role of blockchain technology in healthcare states that ‘as interoperability becomes more patient-centric, there is an opportunity to leverage blockchain technology to facilitate this exchange and give patients greater control over their data.’

Notifyre, Australia’s only transitional communications platform, supports a range of solutions built across our proprietary blockchain-based environment, Stirdie.  Stirdie will power blockchain-based technologies including verified messaging, secure file transfer, secure message delivery (SMD) and encrypted cloud storage.

By providing a gateway for healthcare to easily transition from traditional messaging mediums like fax, to more secure, advanced cloud-based technologies, Notifyre is working alongside Stirdie to achieve interoperability in healthcare.  

Move your healthcare organisation towards interoperability today by signing up to Notifyre. Gain access to secure, reliable cloud-based fax and SMS solutions, with the ability to transition to interoperable communications solutions like secure messaging as and when they become available.  

Learn more about digital workflows in the healthcare industry by reading "Reimagining Digital Workflows in the Healthcare Industry".

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