Interoperability: the increasing need for connected healthcare

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have realized that their technology systems are not equipped to meet the increasing demand for health data sharing. Some organizations have had to adopt additional healthcare systems to compete in the changing marketplace. Unfortunately, these different systems don’t always communicate with each other. Interoperability among systems is vital to achieve connected care. The exchange and successful interpretation of data between different disconnected sources enables providers, care teams, and IT systems to communicate with one another to provide optimal care for patients.

Let’s understand how it works

Connected data sharing relies on these three things:

First, we need an Interface

  • This enables two separate systems to exchange data. It establishes the endpoints for shared information.

Second, we need Integration

  • Integration connects multiple interfaces that support business process automation within an organization, making sure that they work cohesively as a whole system.

Third, we need Interoperability 

  • While integration enables disparate systems to communicate with each other, interoperability uses these integrated connections to exchange data.
  • Interoperability is the process of exchanging and interpreting data between computerized systems and software applications across organizational boundaries.
  • Information systems talk to each other using a single, shared language without adding complexity.
  • Interoperability enables computer systems to transmit data with increasing sophistication across four key levels.

Four Key Levels of Interoperability

FOUNDATIONAL: Establishes the inter-connectivity requirements needed to securely exchange data between systems.

STRUCTURAL: Defines the format, syntax, and organization of data exchange, including at the data field level for interpretation.

SEMANTIC: Allows for common underlying models and codification of data, providing shared understanding and meaning.

ORGANIZATIONAL: Includes governance, policy, social, legal, and organizational considerations to facilitate the secure and seamless flow and use of data, both within and between organizations.

Achieving interoperability within the healthcare system makes it possible to use a consistent standard of language in data exchange across the entire healthcare continuum. It will reduce errors of communication between care providers, payers, and the wider healthcare marketplace, resulting in increased productivity, better patient outcomes, and reduced cost.

Interested in learning more about how iPatientCare can help you start your journey towards interoperability?

Interoperability: the increasing need for connected healthcare

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