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Difficulties in Interoperability of EHRs -Avontix

In the digital age we are living in, we are seeing a lot of information being exchanged in a matter of seconds which is very beneficial for many industries and to people in general. In these times, it is getting important for people and healthcare providers as well to share patient information with relevant people when necessary. It is in these cases that electronic health records and their interoperability play an important role.

With the incentives provided by the government to those who are implementing electronic health records, the number of physicians and healthcare facilities that have started using EHR solutions to maintain records has increased. However, the interoperability of EHR solutions among various healthcare providers and patients has not improved. This lack of interoperability is limiting the efficiency of EHRs considerably. 

Is Interoperability difficult?
Interoperability among various EHR solutions has become difficult as there is no standard format followed by the EHR software. Various EHR software programs use diverse clinical terminology and perform different functions. Also, it is expensive for the healthcare providers to integrate features that support interoperability in their EHR software and systems. These reasons make it difficult to integrate various EHR systems and make them interoperable.

To make EHRs interoperable there needs to be a high range of collaboration among distinct stakeholders like patients, healthcare providers, EHR software producers and vendors, government officials, and health information technology professionals. In conditions where the providers are of a viewpoint that the patient data is a commodity and gives them a competitive edge, interoperability is a challenging task. Moreover, even the vendors who provide EHR software provide the interoperability features at an inflated price which makes it all the more difficult to integrate various EHR solutions of the different providers. 

It is estimated that it would take another 4-8 years for the US health system to accomplish interoperability among the various healthcare providers’ electronic health records. Until then it is on the part of healthcare providers to choose the best EHR solutions providers. 

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