The Healthcare Industry is Failing with Interoperability


The government is developing a roadmap that will explain a 10-year plan to increase the adoption of interoperable EHR systems. The document, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Draft Version 1.0, outlines steps that will allow patients and providers to use a common set of electronic clinical information by the end of 2017.

The Federal Trade Commission supports the development of the roadmap and believes that interoperability will result in innovation and competition. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that the Office of the National Coordinator creates a business environment that encourages interoperability, implements shared governance mechanisms, and works on the advancement of technical standards.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) also supports the Office of the National Coordinator's efforts towards interoperability, but it emphasizes the importance of careful coordination. However, the HIMSS does not agree with the stipulation that individual consent should be required for use or disclosure of information, if individual consent is not required under application law. The HIMSS blames the slow progression towards interoperability on the fact that the industry is unable to agree on standards and implementation guidelines.

Furthermore, the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange backs the idea of the ONC's roadmap, but believes it is too unrealistic. It suggested that the ONC develops a "sustainable and unified national patient matching strategy." Additionally, it advised the industry to solve the small and basic issues with clinical data exchange before focusing on larger issues such as patient access to health information and individual choice.

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