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Discuss the importance electronic health record (EHR) conceptual framework integration and achieving interoperability. 

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Introduction

The recent developments in IT ensure improved medical facilities and a significant reduction in healthcare costs by offering seamless communication among the healthcare professionals. Maintaining proper electronic health records imply that medical practitioners can access patient's information as and when required. Moreover proper EHR's reduce the chances of errors in the healthcare sector. The Information and Communication systems developed to be used in the health industry uses high end technologies that assure seamless sharing of data in addition to security of the same.

Issues associated with lack of interoperability between different departments of the HCO

There are a number of issues being faced by the modern healthcare system as a lack of interoperability among the departments. For instance doctors aren't able to access patient information in a timely manner. Moreover there is high chance of occurrence of medical errors and the cost of medical facilities rise unnecessarily. This in turn leads to degradation in quality of the healthcare facilities being offered by a nation.

Importance of seamless integration among various departments of healthcare organizations

Interoperability or integration among the various departments of the healthcare organization has a number of benefits which further explains its importance in the field of healthcare.

Firstly interoperability ensures that medical practitioners have an easy access to the patient's information and the medical terms used are easily comprehendible by layman.

The most significant benefit of EHR's or ICT systems is that it reduces the chances of errors in addition to reduction in healthcare costs.
The healthcare organizations have to deal to with huge volumes of information coming from a variety of subsystems such as receptions, laboratories, OT's, pharmacies, wireless and wearable devices and several others.

Management of such large volumes of information requires data to be integrated; in other words data must be portable and understandable.

Moreover, integration among all departments allows healthcare organizations to connect with the suppliers, other organizations and the government.

Importance of EHR

Electronic Health Records (EHR), also known as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) can be defined as an "electronic version of patient's information that has been created, used and stored for future reference or use". Systematic documentation of patient's information and assuring high quality patient care are the two most significant usage of EHR. In addition tracking the healthcare costs and ensuring safe, secure and seamless portability of data are the other benefits of EHR. The patient bill is made by medical coding and hence errors in the same can lead to inaccurate bills. Maintaining proper EHR's further ensure an efficient billing system. Apart from these EHR's have certain administrative applications as well. For instance, these systems are used during registration procedures whereby the patient demographics are recorded using the ICT systems.

Conceptual framework for achieving integration and interoperability

The paradigm shift towards value-based reimbursement models emphasizes that healthcare organizations are responsible and accountable for patient outcomes.

According to Carequality's and CommonWell Health Alliance, delivering high quality patient centric care is the primary aim of the ICT systems or the EHR's: It is well known that on behalf of its members Commonwell has become an implementer of Carequality and thus the participants of Carequality has access to the Record Locator service of CommonWell Health Alliance. This implies that both the organizations can access patient data as and when required.

Recently the ‘phase 3 legislation' was incorporated which emphasizes that healthcare information pertaining to the patient must be made available to the patients and their family members via a computer application from the EHR of the organization. This is a crucial step in ensuring that consumers have a direct control over the medical records; this in turn makes the patient's and their family members feel empowered.

The 21st Century Cures Act demonstrates the ways in which government has made interoperability a crucial element in the healthcare sector. The modern healthcare organizations have been laying significant emphasis on the importance of EHR to achieve and integrated healthcare system. Incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) is a major step in achieving an integrated network within the healthcare organizations. 

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