Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another Problem We Are Still A Bit Weak At. More Work Needed.

This popped up very recently.

Commentary: What about interoperability?

By John W. Loonsk, MD, CMO CGI Federal
Created 12/18/2012
The recommendations for Stage 3 of meaningful use are now out for comment. Coincidentally or not, there is a new degree of pessimism about when health IT interoperability will ever be achieved. The issue of progress, or relative lack thereof, on interoperability surfaced just before the election with members from both houses of Congress questioning whether HITECH funding of electronic medical records should be continued without interoperability standards or more rigorous meaningful use requirements in place.
Some dismissed the questions from Congress as election season rhetoric, but at the same time, many industry professionals have again resigned themselves to a long, slow road ahead. Recent, non-political, Congressional testimony suggested interoperability is still another decade away. And there are enough renewed discussion threads of potential “interoperability solutions” by newbies and statements of dispirited resignation by old hands to substantiate a serious trajectory problem.
HIT’s déjà vu all over again
Information exchange and interoperability have long been seen by people involved in health IT as being central to achieving meaningful outcomes with technology. Health IT professionals certainly recognized that providers needed to adopt health IT to start, but they also have long held that the data needed to be mobile and not stuck in a particular IT system or organization for many of the benefits of health IT to develop. Given how vague and ill-defined interoperability can be, and given the sparse empirical evidence for some of these assumptions, it is a little surprising how resolute the professionals are with these conclusions. Perhaps it comes from the practical challenges of trying to support continuity of care, or of working to aggregate data for quality, efficiency, public health, and research purposes, or from simply battling the obstacles to making disparate hospital systems work together.
Lots more here:
Definitely an issue we are not on top of so far!

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