The Beginning of the Next Age in Enterprise Healthcare Software

The EHR Births a New Layer of Healthcare technology

Voja Lalich • December 14, 2022

The future of healthcare will be dedicated to a straightforward and yet complex concept—using technology to create a 360-degree view of the patient journey. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) were a start toward this goal, but as healthcare technology has progressed, stakeholders across the board have realized that there is amazing potential in leveraging multiple types of software to paint a more complete picture of the patient experience. This includes elements like medication adherence and access, blood pressure and stress management, exercise, and even addressing social determinants, such as education access and economic stability. Capturing such a broad experience requires software that reaches beyond the health record.

Today, as providers are finding their footing in a world changed by COVID-19, we see many focusing their health IT investments on things like EHR optimization to improve both interoperability and productivity. Much of the shift toward the multidimensional experience has been the rapid rise of remote patient monitoring (RPM) and telehealth services as well as products that have pushed the need for getting data from and to EHRs. SMART is a standards-based, open-source API that facilitates universal and secure access to EHRs via the OAuth 2.0 standard. It builds on the Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) which defines how healthcare information is exchanged, regardless of how it’s stored. While FHIR was born as a protocol for universal data exchange, SMART on FHIR took the next step, enabling development of plugins for the EHR. This means that new software entrants can emerge to facilitate the exchange of information, including clinical and administrative data, securely in efforts to improve patient care, and address user-specific needs—a qualitative new approach to healthcare tech integration that moves beyond simple message and data exchange.

The next generation of EHR software will be an open ecosystem around multiple solutions allowing others to construct layers of solutions on top of established systems. This means that an entirely new generation of workflows and data can be shared among an even wider range of players. For software companies, like Vicert, it is a unique opportunity to create tangible value as EHR vendors are paying more attention to external services that can be developed around their core product. Users may have to catch up with all the features and options available, but this momentum will continue to shape healthcare in the future. Through this medium, EHRs will become more of an operating system for healthcare tech, which will create a new era of value through continued innovation.

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