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Interoperability Requires Action

by Beth Walsh

Clinical Innovation+Technology

Article excerpt

GAO report details ongoing interoperability barriers

Numerous stakeholders have repeatedly called for improved health IT interoperability as a first step to improved healthcare but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released a report identifying ongoing barriers. GAO reviewed 18 nonfederal initiatives geared toward advancing interoperability for the report.

Our take

It’s Time to Take a Stand on Interoperability

Medical Economics recently brought together a panel of healthcare experts to discuss the issue of interoperability and options for patient data connections across multiple facilities, practice settings and service providers that are rapidly expanding beyond the traditional clinic or hospital visit. This approximately one-hour audiotape reveals a range of views among this esteemed panel in terms of whether interoperability is a realistic goal, whether information blocking is real or a myth, whether health information exchanges are fulfilling their intent and who should lead the charge for interoperability—the government or the marketplace. Where does your hospital stand on these important issues?

While healthcare organizations and IT vendors remain at a crossroads when it comes to addressing the issue of interoperability, it’s an issue that is not going away. New technologies, an abundance of mobile apps and growing interest among both consumers and providers in telemedicine mean that these discussions need to be ongoing and common ground must be found. Your leaders should be having their own discussions of these issues and determining where they stand.