- Interoperability is critical for ensuring patient medical records are available across the healthcare sector. However, interoperability and patient data exchange are often difficult to achieve in a rural state, such as Idaho, that spans from the border of Canada, all the way down to the border of Utah. Rural states do not have great data repositories and it’s difficult for rural providers to exchange social determinants of health (SDOH) data. Leaders at Idaho Health Data Exchange (IHDE) aimed to improve its data repositories by uncovering and integrating SDOH for its users across the state.
- With Idaho being a rural state, SDOH data is especially critical to analyze and report outcomes for both the healthcare system and the community. According to the most recent ONC data brief in late 2018, small and rural hospitals were about half as likely to share records than their larger counterparts. In total, only 62 percent of small hospitals shared this information. And that data includes SDOH data, which often falls by the wayside in even well-resourced regions.
- IHDE will now give patients remote access to preventative, routine, and chronic care. The web-based platform offers several services to educate, engage, and monitor patients remotely. The platform also utilizes a predictive analytics tool to identify and assess risk factors. Rural hospitals and providers do not possess the same spending power as larger hospitals. In an effort to promote interoperability and remove cost barriers, funding from the government or organizations allows for rural hospitals to access the same benefits as the larger hospitals.