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Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

New Report From National Hospital Associations Outlines Agenda for Interoperability

January 22, 2019 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: FAH News, Health Care Delivery

Seven leading national hospital associations released a report urging all stakeholders to unite in accelerating interoperability to fuel improved health and care, engage individuals, and promote value.

The report, Sharing Data, Saving Lives: The Hospital Agenda for Interoperability, sets forth pathways to improve interoperability among health information technology (IT) systems—a goal that holds great promise for lasting improvement in patient care.

“We see interoperability in action all around us. Mobile phones can call each other regardless of make, model, or operating system. The hospital field has made good headway, but it’s time to complete the job. We are united in calling for a truly interoperable system that allows all providers and patients to benefit from shared health records and data, leading to fully informed care decisions,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack.

“For the best care today, it’s the data stupid. Quality care depends on having the right information at the right time so our patient’s records need to be available in the hospital or wherever our patients receive care. Hospitals are joining together to support improving interoperability because it is the key to assuring the best for our patients,” said Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn.

Hospitals and health systems are making progress in sharing health information, with 93 percent making records available to patients online and 88 percent sharing records with ambulatory care providers outside their system. They have worked to create the most interoperable systems possible given the tools available to them, but at great cost and effort. Working with policymakers and other stakeholders, hospitals and health systems believe the following elements are the pathway to advance interoperability:

  1. Security and Privacy
  2. Efficient, Usable Solutions
  3. Cost Effective, Enhanced Infrastructure
  4. Standards that Work
  5. Connecting Beyond Electronic Health Records
  6. Shared Best Practices

The report further discusses the benefits of fully interoperable data for patients and providers, outlines current challenges, and provides suggestions for how all stakeholders can work together to achieve the goal of the best possible health for each individual.

The contributors to this report include: America’s Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children’s Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare. Click here to view the report and click here to view the infographic.