The future of interoperability is sharing critical information at the point of care, providing all physicians within a patient's care continuum with a longitudinal medical record.
Interoperability is defined as the ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort on the part of the customer, and is a fundamental requirement for widespread EMR adoption. A more efficient means of transmission provides increased choice, better outcomes, and portability. The future of interoperability is sharing critical information at the point of care, providing all physicians within a patient’s care continuum with a longitudinal medical record. This is not just to transform healthcare—it will become healthcare.
The “standard” of service for providers and care facilities will be defined by their ability to provide optimum care for all individuals, regardless of provider, payor, or point of care.
But with the technological ability to “transform care” through interoperability, comes additional risk. The “seamless flow” of information from one IT system to another requires add on security measures, ones that support identification and authentication, audit measures, encryption, and residual protection. The process of identifying vulnerabilities should include include an analysis of the IT system security features, and the security controls (technical and procedural) used to protect the system.
While “interoperability” is the new buzz word in EMR integration and adoption, it requires a substantial investment by the end user, in adherence to government rules and reg’s, and establishment of policies and processes by each user. A compliance offficer is critical, to maintain security and report any threats or breeches as they occur. Contaminated or corrupted data will result in
inaccuracy, fraud, and eroneous decisions.
Linda Stotsky, Principal Consultant