7 Questions to Ask Vendors When Evaluating Interoperability

The journey toward and promise of interoperability is a new phenomenon that has yet to be adopted into full existence.

The healthcare industry is in the early stages of learning how to metamorpihize into this new frontier of interlinking multiple electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Ever since the introduction of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, the adoption of EHRs has grown tremendously. However, the various challenges and barriers that exist along an organization’s path toward interoperability have left many C-suite executives weighing the upfront price of investment versus the long-term advantages of interoperability maturity.

The benefits of interoperability, or the ability of different healthcare information systems and software applications to communicate and exchange data consistently, accurately, and effectively are fairly intuitive. However, the challenges are considerable. Specifically, some healthcare providers may feel limited by their legacy technology and unwilling to invest in more equipment.

Other noteworthy challenges may include provider concerns over privacy, cultural resistance from physicians, the lack of talent in using patient health information correctly and, of course the worry over the high cost of developing and maintaining interfaces that support interoperable networks.

However, according to a recent report from Gartner, interoperability will become a cornerstone of the EHR value proposition and business by 2023. Combined with the recent legislative changes and the demands placed on healthcare providers via the shift to a value-based model of care, a strong case now exists for hospital executives to develop a long-term, strategic approach to interoperability.

7 Critical Interoperability Questions to Ask EHR Vendors

Due to the many complicated challenges detailed above, many hospitals and healthcare organizations are turning to EHR vendors to help establish and push for greater interoperability within their facility’s system. According to a paper published by Gartner, here are the questions you should ask your vendor:

  1. What is your corporate definition of interoperability?
  2. What are the major aims of your interoperability capabilities?
  3. What industry standards, initiatives and networks do you support and participate in?
  4. What is your position on patient data ownership?
  5. What constraints do you place on patient data access?
  6. How do you monetize access to patient health information?
  7. What are the costs associated with interoperating your system?

Interoperability’s place and function is rapidly evolving with healthcare which is one reason why it’s vital to choose the right partner to help you on your path toward interoperability. Working alongside an EHR provider you trust can help you move in a strategic way that allows you to deliver smarter and safer systems of care to your patients.

To learn more about how MEDHOST’s robust, reliable solutions can help you prepare and plan for greater interoperability within your healthcare organization or hospital, email us at inquiries@medhost.com or call 1.800.383.6278 to speak with one of our specialists.

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