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Sharing Data between Midtown Family Clinic and External Organizations


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Case Study: Midtown Family Clinic

Midtown Family Clinic works with many other organizations. This study will focus on the kind of data flow between the Midtown Family Clinic, a pharmacy and a medical laboratory. The paper will also describe how data flow can be done effectively. Dr. Thompson has an opportunity to optimize his clinical and administrative operations through an effective data interchange standards that conform to legal and ethical requirements.

Need to Share Data

Midtown Family Clinic is a small institution that depends on other organizations. Sharing data will enable the clinic to benefit from the services that are not offered within its premises. An efficient sharing of data will enable the clinic to have an elaborate relationship with other health stakeholders (Helton, Wade & Erhardt, 2017). Effective communication between the clinic, the pharmacy, and the insurance company can only be achieved through having an efficient communication mechanism.

Sharing data with the pharmacy enables the doctor and the pharmacist to ensure that the patient receives the right medication. A proper communication ensures that the patient gets the medication prescribed by the provider. The clinic can also be able to share a patient’s information to the pharmacist in case of regular medication.

Effective communication between the clinic and a laboratory is vital in medication. Having a well-controlled data flow between the clinic and the laboratory will ensure that accurate tests are conducted based on the details of the patient. It gives laboratories the ability to conduct follow-ups and increase the patient’s well-being. Before performing laboratory tests, the technicians should verify the security and accuracy of the data flow to right information on the patient (Miller & Sim, 2017).

Types of Data to be shared

The primary function of a pharmacy is to dispense medication to patients. It is important, therefore, for the pharmacists to regularly communicate with the physicians to clarify the proper prescription orders and obtain more information to be more accurate during the dispensing process. On the other hand, medical laboratories should communicate with the physicians to promote operational efficiency. Information is better shared through the use of an efficient health information technology (Helton, Wade & Erhardt, 2017). This section provides a list of data that is shared between the clinic and pharmacies and the clinic and the medical laboratory.

Pharmacy Shop
Data Element or Item Data Goes TO/FROM Midtown Family Clinic
  1. Age of the patient
  1. Sex of the patient
  1. Dosage
  1. Type of drugs
  1. Medication Report
Medical Laboratory
Data Element or Item Data Goes TO/FROM Midtown Family Clinic
  1. Blood Analysis
  1. PT (Prothrombin Time)
  1. Blood Pressure
  1. Sugar level
  1. Consultation File

Data Interchange Standards

Data interchange standards are necessary for the information flow in a health set up. In most cases, both the clinical and patient information share a common platform where data is obtained and used for multiple uses. Standard data collection infrastructure ensures that the information is shared professionally under the legally bound mechanisms.

Although the use of electronic health systems provides a platform where data can be accessed quickly, the challenge has been on the organizing and the retrieval of the information. Data stored is not easily understood by the receiving systems (Miller & Sim, 2017). Lack of standards has also proved difficult when preventing the reuse of data that has already been used in other clinical examinations.

Data Interchange Standards involves the protocols, the methods, specifications and the use of information that involves healthcare applications, medication, and other health processes. Data Interchange Standards involves the following aspects:

  • Identification of the data elements. It enables the health practitioners to determine the type of data content to be collected and shared
  • Data exchange approaches. It involves the formats of encoding data, documentation and structuring of data
  • Terminologies used. The information should be recorded in a language that is easily understood by the users.
  • Information presentation. The data should be presented based on the clinical guidelines and the automated ways of showing the medical literature.

The diagram below indicates a structure of data interchange mechanism within a health institution.

Data Interchange Standards between the Clinic and the Pharmacy

Message format standards

As a data interchange standard, the message format standards promotes interoperability by defining the relationships that exist between data elements and the most common templates for structuring data. For instance, in the United States, all federal health care entities should follow the primary clinical messaging templates. For instance, health level seven (HL7) has been adopted by almost all federal health care providers (Helton, Wade & Erhardt, 2017).

Some of the acronyms that have been adopted to refer to the message format standards include:

• Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes [LOINC]

• Systemized Nomenclature of Human and Veterinary Medicine [SNOMED]

• Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP])

• Extensible markup language (XML)

These abbreviations and standard terms enable health practitioners to record medical details in a style that is better understood by them. These integrated clinical concept-oriented terms provide a basis for the development of EHR that is crucial for improving interoperability and safeguarding of both patient and clinical data.

Message format standards will ensure that the intended pharmacist only understands the prescriptions made from Dr. Simpson’s clinic. It helps to keep safe the confidential medical information of the patient. In complying with the legal and ethical regulations of the health department, the clinic and the pharmacy should have an elaborate communication system (Miller & Sim, 2017).

Data Interchange Standards between the Clinic and the Medical Laboratory

Document Architecture

A standard method of presenting medical laboratory reports require an organized document architecture. Having a conventional document architecture promotes easier access and comparison of the patient’s records stored on the information system. It provides room for the markup standard so that the clinical documents can be regularly updated. It also provides a safe place to store the information of the patient.

A good example of the document architecture is the Clinical Document Architecture that stores media information like X-ray images. The document is usually stored with the header’s details. Storing the data in the header ensures that the document is named, dated and the source is indicated. It also ensures that the clinical content is stored in a formal way for easier retrieval (Miller & Sim, 2017). The document structure will enable the clinic and the medical laboratory to ensure that the medical examinations of the patients are stored appropriately in the health system adopted.


The analysis of data sharing enables the health practitioners to incorporate data interchange standards that safeguard the information of the clinic and the patients. Data sharing also requires proper communication between the clinic and the other external organizations (Miller & Sim, 2017). The health practitioners should promote professionalism and cooperation to comply with both legal and ethical requirement of health practices.


Helton, J., Wade, D., & Erhardt, R. (2017). Small Clinic Electronic Health Records Implementations: An Options Thinking View. Journal of Management Policy and Practice18(1), 28.

Miller, R. H., & Sim, I. (2017). Physicians’ use of electronic medical records: barriers and solutionsHealth affairs. 23 (2).

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