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3 min read

Who moved my fax machine?

And other barriers to embracing interoperability

While I started my career selling drugs in NYC (pharmaceuticals to be exact, in case my mother reads this), my career took a turn when I was hired as employee number five at a data-integration startup. This is where I first saw the power of—and became passionate about—clinical data and the innovation it affords.


Now, at Moxe, I’m charged with expanding our network to optimize the power of clinical data exchange between providers and payers. I have a front row seat to see how interoperability can contribute to a better healthcare system for all of us: providers, payers, and most importantly patients.


Despite its power and potential for good, however, there are still many players within the healthcare ecosystem who are hesitant to embrace interoperability to more effectively and efficiently exchange data.


Barriers to embracing interoperability

As I talk with folks at healthcare systems across the country, here are some of the top barriers to embracing interoperability I encounter:


1)  Change is harder than maintaining the status quo. Historically, healthcare has not been an industry that runs towards change. Change is hard. Through the years, I’ve worked with many people and organizations who admit that certain processes are not working well, but they’re not entirely broken. In order to optimize said processes, they’d have to initiate a project, secure funding, get all the right players to the table, and take on additional work. Change requires more effort in the short term than maintaining the status quo.


In my role at Moxe, I love when I’m able to show customers how making a change now—which requires a short-term effort—will make things significantly easier for them down the road.


Our Moxe team recognizes the effort that change requires, and we are committed to supporting our customers every step of the way. Our Customer Success Managers ensure each customer that joins the Moxe network sees value early and feels the effort required to change is well worth it.


2)  A fear of the mulligan. I can empathize with the fact that when you are initiating change, there is a fear of the mulligan. When you play golf (depending on who you play with), a mulligan might only cost you another golf ball. In healthcare, however, a mulligan is often extremely expensive. When you’re talking about the exchange of sensitive data, there is no room for error.


There can be a tendency in the industry for folks to think that because so much is constantly changingtechnologies, rules and regulations, governing bodieseffort put in now will be for naught later.


However, our technology was designed to be adaptable and flexible, knowing that change is one of the only certainties in healthcare. No matter what rules and regulations around the exchange of data arise, Moxe can serve as the privacy-centric clinical data exchange platform for our customers.


We are not a stagnant solution designed to meet today’s data exchange needs; we are a foundational platform designed to support evolving use cases through one direct connection. When customers sign with Moxe, they are building their house on rock vs. sand.


3)  A fear of automation leads to lack of control. When we talk about automating the release of sensitive data, folks understandably have a lot of questions. They wonder: Will automation release all the data we have and provide unfettered access to the EHR? Will automation put my employees out of a job? Is digitizing Release of Information secure?


When people hear the word automation, they often think they are giving up control. We want prospective customers to realize that our goal is not for them to hand over control. Instead, we want to partner with them to make sure that the controls they want in place to safeguard patient data are stronger and more reliable.


What makes these barriers all the more challenging is the noise in the marketplace. It is fairly easy to play buzzword bingo at any conference you attend: “Automation,” “Interoperability,” ”FHIR,” or ”API.” But when pressed to define and describe what they really mean the vendors look back at you with the same confusion you have in deciphering clarity from the chaos.


So, what does interoperability really mean?

Is it sharing data between departments within a healthcare organization? Is it allowing data to freely flow through a pipeline from one organization to another, trusting that requestors will respect rules and regulations governing the exchange of healthcare data?


For Moxe, effective interoperability is about providing meaningful data, not just data dumping. For us, effective interoperability in healthcare is about marrying technical connectivity with control. It’s about allowing the right data to reach the right hands at the right time, all while allowing the provider to manage and regulate what data is shared.


The need to be able to exchange accurate clinical data quickly and securely is not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the increase of medical record requests from Health Plans is growing 20-30% year over year and NCQA is pushing for all HEDIS measures to be digital by 2027. While there are barriers to achieving interoperability, without it, there will continue to be unnecessary administrative waste and missed chances to optimize care.


I joined Moxe because I believe in the mission: eliminate administrative waste to drive down the cost of healthcare. It’s my privilege to work with forward-thinking providers who are committed to doing the same, knowing that ultimately, patients win. 


If you’d like to learn more about Moxe’s privacy-centric interoperability solutions and how we connect the healthcare ecosystem, empowering stakeholders, drop us a line here.


About Brad Hawkins: As SVP of Sales, Brad leads Moxe’s commercial sales efforts, expanding our network to optimize the power of clinical data exchange between providers and payers. For more than 20 years, Brad has been driving adoption of eHealth solutions that optimize the clinical and patient experience. This includes advocating for clinical data exchange through his leadership roles at Influence Health (now WebMD), Quorum Health Resources, and Kyruus.