“Place it. Press it. Get it.” Thus reads the marketing copy on the Amazon Dash Button webpage. Instantaneous and on demand, you stick the Wi-Fi-enabled button by its corresponding product and whenever you’re running low on coffee or razors or baby formula, you press it and get it. That’s the type of user experience and automated process Mainspring is bringing to hospital operations; where nurses and clinicians get their on demand requests quickly and easily fulfilled, while support services (whether it’s clinical engineering, facilities, environmental services, etc.) have the proper tools and workflow to effectively deliver that request.
When hospitals think information technology, the 100-million-dollar gorilla in the room is electronic health records (EHR). While the adoption of these systems is meant to improve healthcare and create cost savings, EHR software systems are sprawling, their implementation complex and their price tags can run in the millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. At the high-end there are places like Boston-based Partners HealthCare, which went live with Epic (the EHR market-share leader) to the tune of $1.2 billion, after a three-year implementation process.
There’s a healthcare revolution going on out there. The digital age came upon us, new technologies arose, and the American healthcare system underwent a seismic transformation. With the HITECH Act, accompanying the 2009 economic stimulus, and the Affordable Care Act in 2010, there’s been a national push for the adoption and advancement of health information technology, most importantly of the interoperability of health information technology. But what exactly does interoperability mean, and why is it so important?