Interoperability is widely considered the Holy Grail of electronic health records — elusive but worth seeking. How can you learn about interoperability? Learn from the Guru of healthcare technology. Morris Stemp, CEO of Stemp Systems and author of The EHR Guru, writes about subjects related to healthcare technology in the AAD publication, Dermatology World.
Morris’ second article for Dermatology World focuses on interoperability of EHR with other practices and hospitals. The idea behind interoperability is to provide a connected system of electronic health care information that is available to doctors and patients whenever and wherever necessary. Why is it so elusive? In order to achieve interoperability, there must be a defined set of standards by which the sender and receiver communicate. As Morris explains, “if you do want to understand what is involved in sharing data between different computer systems, you need to know the three standards of communication that must be in place: transport, structure, and vocabulary.” Read more in the Technically Speaking column in the June issue of Dermatology World.
In addition to describing how interoperability works and providing a scenario showing its benefits, a sidebar to this article provides a description of the progress being made toward achieving interoperability in New York in 2012 and a look at whether interoperability can reduce health care costs. Read more in the Technically Speaking sidebar of the June issue of Dermatology World.
Stage 1 of Meaningful Use mandates the implementation of a certified Electronic Health Record system. In Morris’ book “The EHR Guru,” readers learn, along with the main character in the story, about what is involved in implementing an EHR system. The proposed requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2 emphasize the importance of interoperability between healthcare systems. Through this Technically Speaking column, the Guru himself shares his expertise with his readers about the many issues related to interoperability.
According to Morris, “as someone who lives in NYC and enjoys skiing out west, I think it would be wonderful if, in the event of a skiing accident, if my medical records from New York could be immediately available in an emergency room in Colorado.” As progress is made toward interoperability of healthcare systems, the idea that this might be possible is becoming less and less elusive.