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4 min read

Why cut the ends off the ham?

It’s time to rethink clinical data exchange

The first Christmas I spent with my wife’s family, I observed her cutting off both ends of the Christmas ham as she prepared to put it in the oven. 


As a carnivorous native Texan, I expressed my concern. She told me it was the family recipe and how her mother always prepared it. 


I asked my mother-in-law why the family recipe called for the ends of the ham to be cut off. My mother-in-law referred me to her mother, so I waited in anticipation. 


When my wife’s grandmother arrived for dinner, I got my answer. “I had a tiny oven in my first apartment. The ham wouldn’t fit unless I cut off the ends,” she said. 


Mystery solved: The family had been cutting off the ends of the ham not because it made the ham better, but because it was the way it had always been done. 


It’s funny how we get stuck doing things simply because that’s the way it has always been done. That Christmas I was reminded that we all need to ask questions. We need to make sure that we’re not just doing things because of historical limitations and the romance of tradition. This holds true in the world of data exchange and release of information. 


I believe that HIM professionals are the true stewards of healthcare data and are key to helping their organizations move away from a “ham cutting” approach. HIM can advance clinical data exchange so that it works better today and meets their needs in the future.


The evolution of interoperability 

One thing that you can predict in healthcare is change. Interoperability has come a long way in the past 20+ years. And it’s important to remember that as you think about your clinical data strategy and how to future-proof it.


Remember the 2000s? As EHRs were mandated for 70% of primary care providers, more and more healthcare data was recorded electronically. The marketplace began to explore how technology could be used to improve access to care, bolster care quality, and gain efficiencies.


The 2010s saw interface engine development. FHIR and API frameworks entered the scene, opening up a whole other realm of possibility for integration. 


Now, in the 2020s, API frameworks dominate. We are creating better, faster, and cheaper ways to integrate systems. EHRs are developing marketplaces to allow for better interoperability. 


Ultimately, tech has evolved to allow for the automated retrieval of data. This represents a huge shift in the marketplace, and it should be a turning point in how we think about data exchange.


Not only is the technology available to make automated data exchange possible, the regulatory environment—think TEFCA and QHINs — is increasingly demanding it. 


There’s a storm coming. It’s time to prepare.

Where I live in Louisiana, there are a lot of storms. To weather those storms, we take a three-fold approach: prepare, protect, and pray. There is a lot we can do to prepare and protect, but ultimately, some things are outside of our control. 


What do storms have to do with HIM and clinical data exchange? Well, HIM is no stranger to storms. The current climate in HIM is tumultuous: There has been a 20-30% year-over-year increase in data payers need. More than 70% of medical practices reported staffing as their biggest challenge in 2022. Time to fulfill a record request averages 10-12 minutes. 


In short, organizations are dealing with an increasing number of requests with less staff to fulfill those requests. And there’s no sign of data demands decreasing anytime soon. 


Contributing to the stormy climate is the fact that recent legislation is pushing third party ROI vendors to renegotiate their contracts as monetizing requestors is becoming more difficult. In Arkansas, a law was recently passed that caps payment to fulfill record requests. In Wisconsin, a Court of Appeals decision says providers are not allowed to charge fees for electronic records at all.


There has been—and continues to be—a massive transition in the marketplace. Is your organization taking steps to prepare for the future of data exchange? 


Moxe’s place in the market

Gaining efficiency through automated data exchange is the way of the future, and Moxe is making it happen for over 100 healthcare organizations (and growing!) in our network. 


Since our founding, we’ve been focused on not just solving the data exchange problems of today, but on creating a platform that will allow us, in partnership with our customers, to respond to future data needs.


Today, much of healthcare data exchange is still done manually. A request comes in, and a messy, time consuming workflow ensues. 


There is a huge opportunity to automate many of those manual processes that are not only inefficient, but costly: The most recent CAQH report says that health plans and providers can save nearly $25B annually by automating more administrative transactions. 


Moxe’s automated data exchange platform serves as a neutral clearinghouse between payers and providers, allowing the right data to flow to the right place at the right time in the right format. 


HIM professionals know that automation often has a negative connotation. Folks think it means giving up control and allowing data to flow freely. 


With Moxe, automation does not mean giving up control. Instead, our 100% digital, EHR-agnostic data exchange platform means: 

  • Maintaining full control over what data gets released. We work with our customers to put controls in place that honor their specific release restrictions and ensure that only the minimum necessary data is shared. 

  • Future-proofing your clinical data exchange by providing a foundational platform that’s designed to scale and support evolving use cases through one direct connection. 

  • Gaining efficiency and accuracy, achieving cost savings, and optimizing resources. Moxe processes thousands of records in minutes, freeing up your staff to focus on tasks that require the human touch.

Leading the data exchange conversation

With data increasingly driving decisions in healthcare, HIM professionals need to have an important place at the table as their organizations discuss the best way for data to be exchanged, while safeguarding privacy and security. 


As the ultimate data stewards, HIM professionals can and should help lead the discussion on how their organization can future-proof their clinical data exchange approach. 


We’re here to support you in those discussions and to answer any questions you may have as you consider how to stop cutting off the ends of the ham and do things better, with less waste, in the future. Let’s connect to discuss the future of your strategy. 



Ready for more on Moxe?

Check out our interoperability white paper to learn more about the state of interoperability, the problems facing the healthcare ecosystem, and real-world examples of how Moxe improves clinical data exchange.

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