Developing interoperability has become a central focus of policy makers and stakeholders in the healthcare industry. While the 2009 HITECH Act helped automate the process of collecting healthcare data electronically and novel payment and delivery models offer new incentives for sharing data across stakeholders, many healthcare information systems today are unable to seamlessly exchange information for the purposes of care coordination and quality improvement. Interoperability between systems is essential for healthcare organizations to compile comprehensive patient care records, understand the health of patient populations, drive improvements through analytics, and succeed in delivering value-based care. Although the state of healthcare interoperability today is far from ideal, recent discussions about the issue might give the false impression that the industry has made little progress overall. However, many organizations have made real progress in developing interoperability among stakeholders. eHealth Initiative is dedicated to the cause of interoperability and convened a workgroup this year to better understand and highlight successes in developing interoperability and sharing healthcare data.
The workgroup’s efforts, as an extension of eHI’s 2020 Roadmap Initiative, resulted in a series of stories about why healthcare organizations have pursued interoperability and how those efforts have helped improve the healthcare system. This online resource center is intended to showcase these and other examples of how healthcare organizations are driving interoperability. Stories are categorized according to a variety of use cases for interoperability that emerged over the course of the workgroup’s discussions: