Interoperability 101

Specialties Informatics


Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology.

From CCHIT's EHR Decisions

"From the Chair: Interoperability 101

by Karen Bell, MD, MMS on April 11, 2011

If you practice medicine, you need the latest knowledge, tools and instruments specific to your specialty....and ready access to as much relevant information as possible about each patient. The latter is the driving force behind the current push for you to adopt and use an electronic health record (EHR) as part of your basic set of tools. Like your other major technical investments, your EHR must meet your needs for functionality. It must also possess state of the art security and be "interoperable" to the extent possible. At present, however, true interoperability - the ability to work with and communicate with other sources of information that give you the full picture of your patients' health and history--remains the holy grail of medical informatics.

Why is interoperability such a challenge? And when can you expect to "plug and play", meaning easily get information to and from any lab that is convenient for your patient, get a feed from a patient's Holter monitor while he is wearing it, or see a current problem list to which all of your patient's doctors have contributed? The challenges to achieving this type of data access are both technical and cultural.

The key to understanding interoperability on the technical side is"..........

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