Warren et al. from London's Imperial College's Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) looked at data from 152 acute hospital trusts in England, focusing on the use of electronic medical records on the ward.
They found 117 (77.0%) hospital trusts were using electronic health records (EHR), but there was limited regional alignment of EHR systems. On 11,017,767 (9.1%) occasions, patients attended a hospital using a different health record system to their previous hospital attendance. Most of the pairs of trusts that commonly share patients do not use the same record systems.
This research published in BMJ Open highlights significant barriers to inter-hospital data sharing and interoperability. Findings from this study can be used to improve EHR system coordination and develop targeted approaches to improve interoperability. The methods used in this study could be used in other healthcare systems that face the same interoperability challenges.