November 3, 2015

Why Interoperability?

Datica Editorial Team
Datica Editorial Team

Innovation is critically fundamental to healthcare, helping to improve the quality of patient care and enhance workflows. Despite that, a rudimentary cultural change is needed across the industry to fully embrace innovation. This incorporation will create collaborations to polish present processes with a patient-centric mindset. And there is an extraordinary amount of these innovative collaborations happening across the country already. Influencing creative solutions to complex problems, startups and healthcare innovators are working to manage the challenges the industry is facing. However, the difficulty of achieving interoperability still remains the bottleneck that is hindering real breakthroughs.

Why is interoperability the bottleneck though? To answer that having an understanding of what interoperability is must be had. On a macro level, interoperability is the United States’ attempt at creating a point-of-care health information system that contends with the worldwide network of electronic banking. Understood from a business perspective, interoperability is just tech jargon for healthcare information that is is necessary for a required constituent of diagnosis and treatment. An interoperable world is one where health data can be exchanged, is portable and available wherever a healthcare consumer receives care. So true transfiguration mandates complete access to data from the entirety of patient records, trouncing the traditional isolation silos of healthcare.

Promising progress has been made as a widespread increase in interoperability initiatives are underway. Showing market maturity, most providers have implemented electronic health record (EHR) systems with more than ninety percent of hospitals and seventy percent of ambulatory physicians. Because the healthcare industry is so fragmented, standardization is complex and convoluted but industry stakeholders are still pushing the interoperability needle forward.

Interoperability is going to also be a fundamental requirement for guaranteeing the widespread adoption of EHR systems to achieve the economic and social advantages desired. In the absence of interoperability, this adoption of EHR systems will only enhance the information silos that exist today with even more proprietary control over patient data. Adopting EHRs that are not interoperable is highly questionable as it would not increase patients’ security, well-being, or health. On the contrary, once true interoperability is achieved, patients will have greater choice, control, and portability with their healthcare data.

Thoughts on interoperability and how the industry is going to make it happen? Tweet or email us.

Want to learn more? Check out these other posts:

  1. Increased Interoperability Will Lead to Increased Patient Engagement
  2. Open APIs Solve Lack of EHR Interoperability
  3. 3 Key Focuses for Healthcare CIOs
tag Interoperability FHIR