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What Do You Need to Achieve Interoperability?

In today’s healthcare IT landscape, it’s hard to find a buzzword bigger than interoperability. We live in a world where your thermostat, your garage door, and even your fridge can all share data with your phone. From a patient’s perspective, it’s hard not to look at the sharing of medical records and ask, “What gives?”

But achieving effective data exchange in healthcare has many unique concerns not found in other industries. KLAS today released the Interoperability 2016 report, which sheds some light on the unique hurdles faced by those in pursuit of HIT interoperability.

Many clinicians with little or no access to outside data feel that just accessing records is all they need. However, those clinicians who have begun walking the long road to impactful data exchange understand that gaining access represents just the tip of the iceberg. True interoperability comes when patient data is delivered in such a way that it has a positive impact on the quality of care. For that to occur, vendors and healthcare providers need to work together to accomplish effective data exchange.

In 2015 at the landmark KLAS Keystone Conference, industry leaders, including providers and vendors, came together to lay out their expectations for research on the challenge of interoperability.

Today’s release of the Interoperability 2016 report represents the first results of the expectations established at that conference. It seeks to measure and report on one of the biggest and arguably most difficult trends in healthcare today.

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This chart breaks down interoperability into 4 levels to show just how infrequently impactful interoperability happens in the United States. Out of all respondents, just 28% reach data access. Only 13% have the ability to easily locate vital data once accessed.

Furthermore, only 8% of that group get the data into a clinical view. Finally, only 6% of those with a clinical view have successfully reached an impactful level of interoperability. Clearly, true interoperability doesn’t come easily.

The Interoperability 2016 report represents a foundation upon which the progress of the interoperability landscape can be measured. We asked providers what successes they had with vendors in various instances of data-exchange.

We invite you to look into the full report, featuring the in-depth comparisons and commentary of over 400 unique organizations. It can be accessed here.