5 Steps to Achieve Interoperability in Your Healthcare Enterprise


Healthcare’s digital transformation is progressing, but it’s far from complete. The lack of effective data sharing is becoming an urgent strategic issue for C-suite leaders, who need a complete data picture on patients in order to deliver value-based care.

New, voluntary data standards are beginning to make it easier to exchange data, but sharing data with legacy systems remains a challenge. Developing interoperability, where all partners and platforms can share data is essential.

So how do you achieve this? The infographic below illustrates the five steps that will help you accomplish interoperability for integrations and workflows.

1. Vendors First

Vendors shouldn’t limit interoperability to their latest releases, but they should make sure they include their installed base. This makes it more practical for most health systems. Scalable solutions must use industry standards as the baseline, because in large enterprises, the complexity of all the connections can quickly explode.

 2. Vendors Should Take a Dual Approach

In addition to adopting standards like FHIR, technology vendors’ products should be designed with flexibility, so they work even in less standardized environments. In addition, interoperability requires a different level of resources. For example, an EHR vendor is an expert at installing EHRs, but to create a fully interoperable system different resources and expertise will be required to share data, help people access it and enable them to consume it. In some cases, the vendor will need to conduct onsite testing of interoperability and workflows.

3. Don’t hold the customer hostage for data

Vendors should be able to build solutions that allow free access to data and be less protective of their systems. They should make it available to any consumer or workflow.

4. Health system should inventory their environment

What are your main data repositories? These typically are the EHR and imaging. The first big step is to standardize your organization’s data repositories, including the EHR, which involves a lot of unstructured data and imaging. When organizing your data, keep in mind how it is used clinically, so that the IT infrastructure will support your workflows.

5. Health systems should define their goals

Just as vendors should listen to customer goals, provider organizations should be ready to articulate them. What are your key performance indicators? Health systems should become wise consumers and choose partners who can support them with solutions that encompass IT, clinical workflow and change management, so they can implement processes that will help them become successful.

Interoperability is about connecting and orchestrating all systems into a cohesive workflow. Ultimately, data is only useful if the people who need it can find what they need while they are caring for patients. As the emphasis on population health and value-based care grows, ensuring interoperability is a critical issue for healthcare leaders.

Explore insights on how to achieve interoperability from experts who have achieved it in this downloadable white paper, Interoperability as a Business Challenge: How Context Has Equaled Technology in Importance.

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