Melissa Kotrys, Morgan Honea and Civitas’ Lisa Bari promote interoperability
In an op-ed recently posted in the respected trade publication Modern Healthcare, three health IT executives encouraged healthcare leaders to support the secure and seamless transfer of information between hospitals, providers and other stakeholders.
Promoted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Information Technology (ONC), the concept of “interoperability” embraces the notion that the patients, communities and organizations all benefit from sharing health data.
“With our existing technology, there are no good reasons to ‘silo’ this information–especially when data connections hold so much promise in improving healthcare quality, preventing medical errors, reducing healthcare costs and promoting patient-centered care,” wrote Civitas’ CEO Lisa Bari in a Jan. 20 commentary co-authored by Contexture’s CEO Melissa Kotrys and Executive Vice President Morgan Honea.
Collaboration improves health and care
The authors point out that while federal policies are providing strong incentives for healthcare providers to jump on the interoperability bandwagon, more health IT organizations are also exploring ways to share knowledge and processes while benefitting from greater efficiencies. They cite the consolidation of health information exchanges (including CORHIO and Arizona’s Health Current to form Contexture) and the strategic partnership of Civitas Networks for Health (a union of Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative [SHIEC] and the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement [NRHI]) among many examples.
“Just as health IT organizations benefit from collaboration, interoperability will help the healthcare industry move in a positive direction by breaking down the aforementioned silos of health data–ultimately giving patients, providers and communities a better longitudinal view of multiple health factors to improve health and wellness,” the authors wrote.
Bari, Kotrys and Honea closed the op-ed by stating that when it comes to healthcare, pandemics don’t recognize borders and neither should health data.
“Like other essential utilities such as water and electricity, the data that HIEs provide plays a vital role in the lives of individuals. With continued collaboration, innovation and public and private support, interoperability in health data will demonstrate a lifesaving value proposition beyond the walls of healthcare facilities,” they concluded.