Interoperability may not have gotten enough attention in the early days of Meaningful Use’s electronic health records (EHR) gold rush, but it’s now taking center stage as healthcare providers, government agencies, vendors, and committees consider how to support the exchange of data easily and securely. People underestimate how challenging this work is. Vendors are being cautious before spending lots of research and development money before a standard is more clearly defined. - Alison Diana, Information Week, Healthcare Interoperability: Who’s the Tortoise?
Last month on October 02, 2015 at the KLAS Keystone Summit in Midway, Utah, the top EHR vendor and provider executives and stakeholders gathered by consensus in an attempt to bring objectivity to the metrics of interoperability. Along with collaboration efforts from informatics specialists and provider organizations, the following twelve corporations were involved:
- Allscripts (Assaf Halevy, VP of business development, solutions management)
- athenahealth (Jonathan Bush, CEO)
- Cerner (Zane Burke, president)
- eClinicalWorks (Girish Kumar, CEO)
- Epic (Judy Faulkner, CEO)
- GE Healthcare (Jan De Witte, president and CEO HCIT)
- Greenway (Tee Green, CEO)
- Healthland (Chris Bauleke, CEO)
- McKesson (Jeff Felton, president)
- MEDITECH (Hoda Sayed-Friel, EVP)
- MEDHOST (Steve Starkey, VP of product)
- NextGen Healthcare (Rusty Frantz, president and CEO)
Regardless of the $31.5 billion investment from federal funds, it is clear that there are still critical gaps in the interoperability endeavors of EHRs. It is because of this that these leaders gathered to propose new reports with a basis from their own internal IT systems and interoperability efforts. The data that will be included has been classified as either “hard” or “soft” data. Hard data may be how these systems have achieved interoperability with vendors, whereas soft data could be measuring the responsiveness of the vendor.
Once these reports become finalized, they will be presented to the policymakers to show the market’s continued progress and further attempts to standardize how healthcare systems communicate. With the vision of true interoperability in healthcare on the horizon, the rest of us are on the edge of our seats with anticipation to see these finalized metrics as this standard becomes more clearly defined.
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