Lingering obstacles block the path to interoperability 

Acknowledgement of the value of interoperability – and the desire to implement it – are seemingly widespread in healthcare. So why is the industry still so short of achieving it? For many reasons – technology, financial or logistical obstacles, a lack of standardization, fear of new procedures, or data gaps in EHR systems – the goal of being able to easily and securely exchange accurate patient data across healthcare providers remains elusive.Technology isn’t enough Getting a handle on advancing interoperability requires that technical and business process/policy challenges are addressed together, instead of in isolation, so that there’s an integration of technology and policy workflows and scaling. “Simply putting the technology in peoples’ hands isn’t enough,” said Steven Posnack, director of the Office of Standards and Technology for the Office of the National Coordinator in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”There need to be business agreements in place and, in many cases, a business model around exchanging information that impacts the delivery of care.” Whatever the intention is – e.g., sending a patient for a referral, requesting information from a patient or sending an electronic prescription — the training and workflow implementation involved with interoperability technology must make it a more usable and seamless part of the health information technology and patient care delivery infrastructure.

Source: Lingering obstacles block the path to interoperability | Healthcare IT News

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