Interoperability is a system or product's ability to work with other systems or products. The term is used often in either a technical system engineering sense, or in a broader sense – including social, political and organizational factors that impact system-to-system performance. Products achieve interoperability by either adhering to published interface standards or by making use of a "broker" of services that converts one's product interface into another product's interface instantaneously.
With regard to healthcare, interoperability is looked upon as the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities. A more expansive notion of interoperability includes the uniform movement of healthcare data, the uniform presentation of data, uniform user controls, uniform safeguarding data security and integrity, uniform protection of patient confidentiality and uniform assurance of a common degree of system service quality.