3 strategies for improving interoperability

Computers connecting
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Interoperability—and all the steps it takes to achieve it—remains an industrywide challenge. Setting priorities, choosing the right partners and minimizing risk are among the steps healthcare organizations can take to get closer to the goal.

Previous efforts by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have targeted the end of 2017 as a reasonable timeline for a majority of providers and individuals to easily transfer electronic clinical information. But organizations operating health homes, joining accountable care organizations, or managing care coordination services require more in-depth thinking to plan for interoperability, OpenMinds reports.

RELATED: ONC unveils Interoperability Roadmap for public comment

The article outlines several ways to build out interoperability systems. Among them:

  1. Identify and prioritize: By determining which types of information are most important to clinical outcomes and other goals and assessing how difficult this information is to exchange, organizations can focus on the goals with highest priority first, the article notes.
  2. Partner up: Upon establishing priorities, organizations can approach other organizations about the potential value of sharing information, OpenMinds notes. Organizations should build out the plan for how information will flow, the source of information and the required consents, the article adds.  
  3. Get the wheels in motion: Once the planning stage hits the operations stage, it's vital to consider the risks of data-sharing—and limit them. Swapping information “always has risks,” the article notes.