CHIME, HL7 team on interoperability

'Supporting events such as HL7’s plenary meeting and payer summit highlight the critical work being done to overcome interoperability barriers.'
By Bernie Monegain
10:44 AM
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, which represents more than 1,400 CIOs, and Health Level Seven International are working together to promote a standardized approach for exchanging healthcare information and to highlight the importance of developing and adopting standards to achieve interoperability.

Various models of interoperability and the necessity of extending the concept throughout the healthcare industry, were key topics at recent HL7 meetings in Chicago, which CHIME sponsored.

"CHIME is pleased to work with HL7 to promote a standardized approach to interoperable data exchange," CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, said in a news release. "Supporting events such as HL7's plenary meeting and payer summit highlight the critical work being done to overcome interoperability barriers and that standards-based technologies lead to improved safety, quality and efficiency of patient care," he added.

[See also: Actionable' steps to interoperability.]

Key highlights of the HL7 28th Annual Plenary meeting included:

  • The potential benefits of a learning health system must be achieved for the industry to make important gains in effective treatment.
  • Standards initiatives, particularly HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR, have the potential to address many of the concerns brought out in reports by JASON and other groups that have voiced concerns over interoperability.
  • Because the technology now is in widespread use to improve the health of patients, optimizing information exchange becomes an ethical issue; achieving interoperability is more than just the exchange of data as it directly impacts patients’ lives.

At the inaugural HL7 Payer Summit, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Cigna, Delta Dental Plans Association, Humana and other industry stakeholders were in attendance to discuss the impact of standards on data exchange with payers

"We're taking part in collaboration with every segment of the healthcare industry," Charles Jaffe, MD, CEO of HL7 International, said in a statement.

[See also: Interoperability's 'game-changer'.]

"Our standards can provide the payer community with the much needed link to clinical information. We believe this will enable the transformation of healthcare from pay-for-service to pay-for-quality."

Provider CIOs need to take notice of payer insistence of standards-based systems and incorporate those preferences into their IT planning.

Key highlights of the HL7 Payer Summit included:

  • Payer and provider roles are converging as the industry moves toward a more integrated healthcare system.
  • Payers should be able to integrate clinical and financial data to analyze how care practices affect patient outcomes.
  • As more payers shift to offering value-based reimbursement to providers, payers must be able to measure the value and integrate care in such a way that it meets the needs of employers and their employee populations.

The federal government continues to support interoperability by expanding the value of the portfolio of standards to support ACOs, payment reform, value-based purchasing and other administrative priorities. An overview of HL7 FHIR a new generation framework that accelerates the implementation and use of standards. HL7 FHIR will enable payers and other industry participants to write apps that that help them get the information they need.