The ability to exchange electronic health information smoothly and securely is a pillar of a well-oiled, high-functioning health system and has long been a healthcare hot topic. Interoperability depends on systems and technology that use digital standards so that even different platforms and software can effectively exchange patient data. There are four key domains of interoperability: find, send, receive and integrate data.
While we are far from widespread interoperability, the industry has made great strides in this area. A 2019 American Hospital Association IT Supplement published by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT reported that 55 percent of acute care hospitals participated in all four domains, up from 25 percent in 2015. Patients themselves have become a major driver in this area by demanding increased online access to records, which in turn has encouraged investment.