Interoperability — The Holy Grail?

Categories: Blog

Smiling_Diverse_Team_Small_72DPI_shutterstock_138847454Did doctors and other clinicians think using an EHR would make it easier to keep track of your patient’s necessary care?

Did administrators and coders think their clinicians using an EHR would make it easier to collect for the business of healthcare?

Surprise! Using an EHR does not, in and of itself, make it simpler to do business. In fact, it can sometimes make it harder to care for the patient because the patient’s critical medical information is no longer collected into one folder.

fully interoperable health systemThe equation for improved care and business processes is:

[EHR] + [Interoperability] = [Improved Patient Care] + [Increased Compensation]

So the very next logical question must be — “What is interoperability?”

Here is the Wikipedia definition: “ability of making systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate)”. In the past, this term was solely related to a computer information system’s ability to exchange usable information with another information system.

Another defintion is “the ability to exchange and use information (usually in a large heterogeneous network made up of several local area networks)”

Today, especially in healthcare, the ability for information systems, human beings, and organizations must “inter-operate”  in order to meet the requirements for the delivery of healthcare services to support improved patient health.

So… why is “interoperability” the Holy Grail?  Because for people to have the best possible heath and wellness, especially under the care of a clinician, improved communication must be available to the continuum of care.


Author: Laura Landry

Laura Landry is a health information technology and exchange pioneer, and is committed to unleashing technology's power to improve the health care delivery system.

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