J P Systems HIT Blog
Your medical records from hospital stays and doctor visits to prescriptions and lab results are stored in Electronic Health Record systems, (EHRs), which allow multiple teams of healthcare providers to have access to your records to provide coordinated care. The difficulty arises when clinical data needs to move from one hospital to another.
What one hospital calls a Myocardial Infarction another doctor calls a Cardiac Arrest. One cause of the complexity of moving clinical data arises when the underlying data coding systems used by various hospitals are not compatible. When a clinician reads text on a monitor, they are able to recognize synonyms. But the computers do not know that the two codes in the data files represent the same basic medical concept.
Take this issue of coded medical concepts and multiply it by a million different medical terms, drug names, and changing disease names and you have a real problem when data is exported or imported! This is an issue that J P Systems' has been tackling for over a decade. “When two providers can’t exchange information effectively it could cause patient safety issues” says Jackie Mulrooney, the president of J P Systems, Inc., a Healthcare Information Technology firm. “The interoperability of systems is a problem not just nationally, but worldwide.” Since 1998 J P Systems has focused on moving clinical data in electronic patient records from one healthcare provider to another.
In September 2015, J P Systems was awarded a five year US Department of Veterans Affairs contract with a $100 million ceiling, to support terminology standardization efforts. “It is for Healthcare IT data standards, which is our company’s niche. That’s the biggest problem in healthcare today. The incompatibilities exist on a very low level of the information. Over the last few decades years, medical concepts have been assigned different codes in different EHR systems. These codes exist in the data files and their meanings do not. That is why electronic data exchange is so very difficult. There are other issues with EHRs, too. “If organizations have different missions, they’ll collect and store slightly different levels of details” she said. “A cancer center will collect and store different details for a patient than a General Practitioner at a local clinic. The goal is to get the clinical data to map to international standards so that patient data can be exchanged in an accurate way. The best clinical decisions are made based on accurate, up-to-date, and complete information.”
What is an API and what could this mean for the future of Healthcare IT communities?
There is a lot of confusion about what an API is. When we surveyed the web, we found a lot of articles but not many gave clear explanations understandable to a non-technical person. That is why Lisa and Jackie put their heads together and wrote an article for you.
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