Katya Samardina

Despite Challenges, ‘Interoperability Advancements Will Likely Continue’

August 16, 2017

Monitor interfaces

Before true interoperability in healthcare is achieved, writes ehrintelligence.com editor Kate Monica, a number of challenges will have to be addressed.

“However, with initiatives to overcome these challenges already gaining traction, interoperability advancements will likely continue despite these obstacles,” Monica writes.

In the article, Monica cites a number of issues:

  • Patient identification methods must be standardized. Monica notes how unique patient identifiers—similar to social security numbers—could help the standardization effort. She cites new policies and initiatives that may spur progress and takes a look at how one ambitious organization plans to improve patient matching by spending the next half-decade using resources provided by an Indiana-based HIE.
  • Interoperability standards must be enforced across a host of venues. When they’re poorly enforced, interoperability standards actually get in the way of the exchange of health information. Monica proposes that alliances of healthcare organizations may represent at least one hope for increasing standardization among various care settings.
  • Measurement standards must be enforced, too. They tend to vary from stakeholder to stakeholder, writes Monica, and those variations make tracking improvement—everything from the number of users to the number of transactions utilizing a standard—a real challenge. 
  • The industry must coordinate its stakeholders. Monica cites a multi-stakeholder meeting that took place this summer in which panelists stressed “the need for seamless health data access, improved population health management, and competitive, open application programming interface (API) development to encourage innovation.”
  • Obstacles to data sharing must be eliminated. While creating obstacles is, according to Congress, illegal, it’s still a serious issue for healthcare information exchange, notes Monica.

Read the full article here.

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