Interoperability was 'a huge fight' 20 years ago

A quick look back at the competing specs for clinical coding and data exchange gives a glimpse of the some of the challenges still ongoing today.
By Tom Sullivan
09:20 AM
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If it seems like health data interoperability is a mess now, consider what it was like two decades ago. Dr. Mark Roche, who was there to witness it, explains in this video what was happening then and contrasts that to our current state of interoperability.

"It was a huge fight," Roche, who is a partner at Avanti iHealth, told HIMSS TV.

That’s mostly because of so many competing standards. There were specifications for data exchange, and different specs for clinical coding systems and, to make it even harder, they were at various levels of maturity.

Today, "it is tremendously different because we have made certain standards freely available to the public. That makes it easy to use, easy to adopt."

And the proposed rules that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT revealed at HIMSS19 during February are going to be good for value-based care and improving patient outcomes as well as enabling clinicians to communicate with patients by interacting with them instead of with EHRs on computer screens.

"It’s important," Roche said, "to send a strong signal that healthcare data belongs to the patient and it cannot be blocked."

Twitter: @SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.