Tag Archives: Data Interoperability

Why Interoperability is Crucial in Healthcare Operations

Data interoperability in healthcare refers to the seamless and secure exchange of patient information among different healthcare systems, providers, and organizations. The lack of interoperability can lead to fragmented data silos, making it difficult for healthcare professionals to access comprehensive patient information. This can result in inefficiencies, medical errors, and ultimately hinder the delivery of quality care.  In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of interoperability in healthcare and explore how it can streamline processes, improve patient care, and drive innovation in the industry.

According to research posted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology concerning non-federal acute care hospitals in the U.S.:

  • Only 46% of hospitals had required patient information from outside providers or sources available electronically at the point of care.
  • 55% of hospitals named their exchange partners’ EHR systems’ lack of ability to receive data as a barrier to interoperability.
  • Only 38% of hospitals had the ability to use or integrate healthcare data from outside sources into their own EHRs without manual entry.

What is Interoperability in Healthcare?

Interoperability in healthcare refers to the ability of different healthcare information systems, devices, and software applications to seamlessly exchange and use patient data. This data can encompass a wide range of information, from electronic health records (EHRs) and diagnostic results to medication lists and treatment plans.

Interoperability ensures that healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, and physicians, can access and share patient data efficiently, securely, and in a format that is understandable by all systems involved. This capability allows for improved communication and coordination among healthcare providers, leading to better patient care.

The Importance of Interoperability in Healthcare

  • Enhanced Patient Care

At the heart of healthcare operations lies patient care. Interoperability directly impacts the quality and efficiency of patient care by enabling healthcare providers to access comprehensive and up-to-date patient information. When a physician has access to a patient’s complete medical history, including previous diagnoses, allergies, and medications, they can make more informed decisions about treatment options, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

  • Reduced Errors

One of the most significant benefits of interoperability is the reduction in medical errors. With seamless data sharing, healthcare providers can avoid duplication of tests and procedures, ensuring that patients receive the right care at the right time. Moreover, accurate and complete patient records reduce the risk of medication errors, allergic reactions, and other potential harm to patients.

  • Improved Efficiency

Interoperability streamlines administrative processes in healthcare. Tasks that once required manual data entry and paperwork, such as referrals, authorizations, and billing, can now be automated through interoperable systems. This not only reduces administrative burden but also accelerates the overall healthcare process, allowing providers to focus more on patient care.

  • Cost Savings

By eliminating redundant tests and procedures, reducing administrative overhead, and preventing errors, interoperability can lead to significant cost savings in healthcare. It helps lower healthcare costs for both providers and patients, making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

  • Facilitating Research and Innovation

Interoperability is the backbone of healthcare research and innovation. When researchers and healthcare organizations can access a vast pool of anonymized patient data, they can identify trends, study disease patterns, and develop new treatments more effectively. This has the potential to drive groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in healthcare.

Challenges and Barriers to Interoperability

While the benefits of interoperability in healthcare are clear, achieving seamless data exchange is not without its challenges. Several barriers hinder its widespread adoption:

Technical Heterogeneity: Healthcare systems use a variety of different technologies and standards for data storage and transmission. Achieving interoperability often requires bridging the gap between these disparate systems.

Privacy and Security Concerns: The sensitive nature of patient data raises concerns about privacy and security. Healthcare organizations must implement robust security measures and comply with regulations like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to protect patient information.

Resistance to Change: Implementing interoperable systems requires a change in processes and workflows, which can face resistance from healthcare providers and organizations accustomed to traditional practices.

Funding and Investment: The initial investment required to implement interoperable systems can be significant. Smaller healthcare providers may struggle to allocate the necessary resources.

Regulatory and Legal Challenges: Compliance with various state and federal regulations can be complex and time-consuming. Healthcare organizations must navigate a complex regulatory landscape to ensure data sharing is done legally and ethically.

In a 2018 survey of U.S. health system executives and finance leaders, “52% said that data sharing is the technology that will have the biggest positive impact on the patient experience.”

Future Trends and Solutions

Despite the challenges, the push for interoperability in healthcare continues to gain momentum. Several trends and solutions are emerging to address these challenges and drive the adoption of interoperable systems:

Standardization: The development and adoption of standardized data formats and protocols, such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), are simplifying data exchange between systems.

Data Exchange Networks: Health information exchanges (HIEs) and regional data exchange networks can facilitate data sharing among healthcare organizations within a defined geographic area.

Patient Empowerment: Patients are gaining more control over their health data through patient portals and mobile apps, allowing them to share their information with different healthcare providers.

Cloud-Based Solutions: Cloud computing offers scalable and cost-effective solutions for healthcare data storage and exchange, making interoperability more accessible to smaller providers. 

HealthViewX: The Solution to Data Interoperability

The HealthViewX platform is emerging as a powerful solution to overcome the data interoperability challenge in healthcare operations. HealthViewX’s proprietary Interoperability Engine, HealthBridge, is designed to bridge the data interoperability gap and streamline healthcare operations. HealthBridge enables end-to-end care orchestration with bi-directional health information system integrations such as EMR/EHRs, HMS, PHMS, LIS, etc. HealthBridge has the ability to communicate the data between multiple health systems seamlessly and it supports API, HL7 v2, JSON, XML, FHIR (DSTU2 and R4), and custom integrations (DB, File-based) format. Here’s how it overcomes the challenges:

Aggregation of Data: HealthViewX can aggregate data from various sources, including EHRs, labs, and other healthcare systems, into a unified and standardized format.

Secure Data Exchange: The platform ensures robust security and compliance with regulations like HIPAA to protect patient data during exchange.

Standardization: HealthViewX employs standardized data formats, such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), to facilitate seamless data exchange.

Compliance Management: The platform simplifies compliance management by automating the process of adhering to healthcare regulations, reducing the administrative burden.

Integration of Legacy Systems: HealthViewX is compatible with legacy systems and can bridge the technological gap, making it accessible to healthcare organizations with older infrastructure.

Benefits of HealthViewX in Healthcare Operations:

The HealthViewX platform brings about a range of benefits that transform healthcare operations,

Efficiency: By aggregating data and simplifying data exchange, HealthViewX reduces administrative overhead, streamlines workflows, and enhances overall operational efficiency.

Enhanced Patient Care: Healthcare providers can access comprehensive and up-to-date patient information, improving decision-making and ultimately delivering better patient care.

Reduced Errors: The platform reduces the risk of medical errors by ensuring accurate and complete patient records, ultimately enhancing patient safety.

Cost Savings: With efficient data sharing and reduced administrative costs, healthcare organizations can achieve significant cost savings.

Innovation: HealthViewX’s data exchange capabilities facilitate research and innovation by providing access to a wealth of anonymized patient data, enabling groundbreaking discoveries in healthcare.

Improved Patient Experience: Patients benefit from faster and more efficient healthcare services, with the ability to share their data easily with various healthcare providers.

Blockchain Technology: Blockchain is being explored as a secure and transparent way to store and exchange healthcare data, addressing privacy and security concerns.


Interoperability is not just a technical requirement in healthcare; it’s a critical component that can transform the way healthcare is delivered. The achievement of data interoperability is paramount to delivering high-quality care, reducing errors, and enhancing efficiency. While challenges remain, ongoing efforts to standardize data formats, address privacy concerns, and empower patients are driving the healthcare industry closer to a future where seamless data exchange is the norm. 

HealthViewX emerges as a comprehensive solution to the data interoperability challenge, enabling healthcare organizations to overcome the hurdles and revolutionize healthcare operations. By aggregating data, ensuring secure data exchange, and simplifying compliance management, HealthViewX is not just a platform but a catalyst for positive change in healthcare. It empowers healthcare providers to deliver the best possible care and ensures that patients receive the attention and treatment they deserve, ultimately leading to a healthier and more connected healthcare ecosystem. As healthcare providers and organizations continue to embrace interoperability, patients will benefit from safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective healthcare services.

Technology companies are proving to be the great equalizer

[Part 1 of a 12-Part Series]

Healthcare is rife with significant challenges that can in some cases be minimized at the very minimum and in most cases be eliminated by the use of technology. The 12-part series begins by elaborating on macro level challenges that the healthcare industry is starting to address with technology to stem the bleeding/reverse the onset of more severe complications.

Challenge 1: Supply and demand

Healthcare service delivery provisioning across the globe is starkly marked by the lack of adequate supply of qualified clinicians and specialists. This situation has been significantly exacerbated in the post pandemic new normal which has seen clinicians of all stripes leave their stated professions in droves. Technology companies like HealthViewX have helped alleviate this problem by building care orchestration platforms [the HOPE platform for providers and the POPE platform for payors] that allow clinicians and clinical service delivery providers the ability to render care to more patients by streamlining and automating work processes. These platforms allow patients’ access to clinicians and services that are not limited or constrained by physical locations and boundaries.

Challenge 2: Variation in care

Healthcare outcomes see sigma levels of variation as a direct consequence of the variation in care delivery. A fundamental challenge to addressing such variation in care stems from the lack of contextualized data around care encounters including clear data attribution, capture appropriateness and integrity of the measurement system (repeatability and reproducibility). Care orchestration tech platforms are designed to capture data during a care encounter that can them be analyzed across a host of attributes for clinical and operational streamlining of services. HOPE for example is capable of gathering millions of individual data points that can be aggregated and analyzed at both the patient and population level to see patterns and probabilities. This is then turned into actionable insights.

Challenge 3: Evolving consumerization

Consumer expectations around Healthcare service delivery in the new normal has permanently evolved from begrudging acceptance of the confines of large monolithic infrastructure driven points of care to a strident demand for care around their individual ecosystem. In short the uberization of the healthcare except at scale. Healthcare however thus far has been severely constrained by its business model in that it has required a significant upfront investment in infrastructure followed by a significant lead time before the return of investment is reached. Technology has become the bridge to serving the new discerning consumer that will not settle for pre digital limitations of an industry that still uses fax machines and paper. Care platforms again come to the rescue by helping construct intersecting digital hubs that enable the patient to have a digital ecosystem built to his or her preferences. These digital hubs are being built at scale on a disease specific level that lend themselves to cohort level and individual specific management and reversal of disease progression.

Challenge 4: Illiquidity of data

One of the biggest challenges is the pooling of an individual’s healthcare data across islands of service delivery. This is exacerbated by the fact that the quantum of data over a life time can be in orders of magnitude and is unfortunately not available in a continuum of care/longitudinal fashion. This illiquidity is however being solved by care orchestration platforms like HOPE and POPE that address both the interoperability problem by building engines that serve as bridges between these islands of data that are linked through technology as well as building out a new care plan centered approach that is defined by and around each patient by his or her care team.