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Tuesday November 7, 2023

What to Ask When Choosing a Healthcare Interoperability Partner 

Bringing up the topic of interoperability in healthcare is likely to elicit a glazed-over response, at best.

Like most healthcare industry buzzwords, it achieves a kind of ubiquity, despite carrying less and less meaning the more it’s tacked on to make topics seem relevant. But beneath the clichéd rhetoric lies a fundamental truth: interoperability is about fostering a sense of community among healthcare providers.

As longstanding partners of community hospitals, we understand the power of collaboration in surmounting challenges across all frontiers. We follow the example of our customers in creating solutions that expand and connect their communities, empowering their providers, and driving better outcomes for the patients who depend on their services.

In this blog post, we aim to explore the core essence of interoperability, highlighting its potential benefits for your facility, and providing valuable insights into the essential questions you should pose when considering an interoperability partner.

EHRs as the Driver of Interoperability

Electronic health records (EHR) have been the primary vehicle for interoperability in healthcare. Since the introduction of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, EHR adoption among healthcare organizations has experienced substantial growth.

Nevertheless, numerous hurdles and obstacles exist for organizations on their journey toward achieving interoperability. Many healthcare leaders are grappling with the dilemma of weighing the initial investment costs against the long-term benefits of interoperability maturation, especially in the community healthcare space.

Advantages and Challenges of Interoperability

The advantages of interoperability, which enables different healthcare information systems and software applications to communicate and exchange data consistently, accurately, and efficiently, are self-evident. However, the challenges are more nuanced and formidable.

A primary concern is that adapting to new technologies will create more work for physicians, or that their performance will now be tied to inflexible numbers that don’t reflect the gradated reality of patient care.

Other notable challenges include concerns regarding patient privacy, resistance from physicians due to cultural factors, a shortage of expertise in correctly utilizing patient health information, and the considerable costs associated with developing and maintaining interfaces that support networks.

What to Ask When Choosing a Healthcare Interoperability Partner

Here are key questions to pose to your EHR vendor:

  • What is your company's definition of interoperability?
  • What are the primary objectives of your interoperability capabilities?
  • Which industry standards, initiatives, and networks do
  • What is your stance on patient data ownership?
  • What limitations do you impose on patient data access?
  • What are the associated costs of implementing interoperability with your system?

A Trusted Partner in Community Healthcare

Selecting the right partner to guide you on your path to interoperability is crucial. Collaborating with a trusted EHR provider can enable you to strategically advance and deliver more intelligent and secure healthcare systems to your patients.

To discover how MEDHOST's dependable and comprehensive solutions can assist you in preparing and strategizing for enhanced interoperability within your healthcare organization or hospital, please contact us at or call 1.800.383.6278 to engage with one of our specialists.

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