Nick Semple, healthcare IT expert at PA Consulting, discusses healthcare interoperability.
The article notes that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) heard from stakeholders about several barriers to interoperable access to health information. Interoperability barriers include:
Nick says: “Interoperability is happening but so far in a fragmented rather than a concerted, orchestrated way. While there are national and regional initiatives, there is still some way to go. The federal government’s vision for interoperability was ahead of the healthcare industry when the vision was established in the early 2000s. Through federal incentives to ensure greater adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and healthcare technology, hospitals and provider groups have made advances to set the stage for interoperability; i.e.: they have moved from a paper based to an electronic health record. However, lack of standardization and information ‘locked’ within a specific EHR has been a challenge. There also is increasing pressure on vendors and payers/providers to share information.”
He adds: “The main driver for interoperability has been the establishment of Health Information Exchanges (HIE) at the community, regional and state levels, as well as industry/vendor-led interoperability networks. There is now growing use of HIEs to facilitate interoperability. In 2018, the DirectTrust HIE saw an exchange of 274 million Direct message transactions between DirectTrust users in 2018, up from 168 million transactions in 2017.”
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