Interoperability remains one of the greatest challenges in health information technology, and resolving these issues holds great promise to enhance innovation. As we move into a new year, a recent report by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology sheds light on the state of interoperability and where health systems should focus to make continued progress.
Where do the biggest problems lie? The most common reason for not using information received electronically from outside the hospital system is difficulty integrating information into the EHR. The greatest barrier to sending information via electronic exchange is difficulty locating providers’ addresses.
The ONC study, “Variation in Interoperability Among U.S. Non-federal Acute Care Hospitals in 2017,” indicates hospitals made significant progress between 2016 and 2017. Yet challenges still exists. Among the barriers to health information exchange, nearly six in 10 hospitals reported challenges exchanging patient health information across different vendor platforms, up from five in 10 in 2016.