- The field of health IT interoperability is pacing its way through interesting times. Sources ranging from the top level of federal health programs to mainstream news analysis outlets have weighed in on changes afoot for hospitals, health systems and medical practices in their respective use of technology.
Presented below are 10 recent quotes reflecting the spectrum of issues affecting interoperability, health information exchange, electronic health records and the meaningful use thereof, system usability and the security of protected health information.
“[W]e’re deadly serious about interoperability. We’ll begin initiatives in collaboration with physicians and consumers toward pointing technology to fill critical use cases like closing referral loops and engaging a patient in her care. And technology companies that look for ways to practice data blocking in opposition to new regulations will find that it will not be tolerated.”
— Andrew Slavitt, acting administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [Source: EHRIntelligence]
“In San Diego, where I live, we have health systems that have no business case for exchanging data, but more then that, we have big healthcare systems where data from the emergency room can't be shared with acute care unit in the hospital. That's not an interoperability problem, that's a problem of the way systems evolve and the business needs of our respective stakeholders. There's not the will to overcome the challenges, nor apparently the capabilities to do so.”
— Charles Jaffe, CEO, HL7 [Source: Becker’s Hospital Review]
"Many thought leaders have speculated that health information exchanges have had difficulty staying in business not because of technological challenges, but rather due to the lack of a sustainable business case. The introduction of MIPS and APMs should present a real business opportunity for relevant data exchange and thus meaningful and practical interoperability."
— Peter Basch, MD, medical director for ambulatory EHR and health IT policy, MedStar Health; and Thomson Kuhn, senior systems architect, American College of Physicians [Source: Health Affairs Blog]
“We really need to drop interoperability as a competitive differentiator in this industry. Once everyone comes to the table and recognizes that we have a moral obligation to provide patients with their health records, I think we’re going to be much better off.”
— Zane Burke, president, Cerner Corporation [Source: HealthITAnalytics]
“There are no [EMR] systems out there that people are universally happy with. Quite frankly, they were built and modeled on some pretty old technology.”
— Mark Zielazinski, chief information and technology integration officer, Marin General Hospital [Source: Marin Independent Journal]
“The adoption of population health and value-based care is pretty spotty around the country. I think in the next couple of years, starting next year, we'll see pockets of great alignment and adoption and some pretty drastic misalignment with meaningful use.”
— Harry Greenspun, MD, director of the Center for Health Solutions at Deloitte [Source: Bloomberg BNA]
"For providers, who often report difficulty with using EHR technology, APIs represent an opportunity for internal innovation. Open APIs can allow provider systems to build their own custom user interfaces in-house or shop around for a better solution than the interface that comes standard with their EHR system. EHRs could eventually become a platform on top of which other companies could build more tailored applications and improve usability for clinicians."
— Robert Huckman, faculty chair of the Harvard Business School Health Care Initiative; and Maya Uppaluru, policy advisor, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy [Source: Harvard Business Review]
“We’re forcing [EHR] technology into prime time onto physicians who don’t know how to handle it. And they’re using scribes because they need assistance.”
— Richard Armstrong, MD, surgeon, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital [Source: The Atlantic]
"Every digital technology, as its use has expanded, has drawn attention from hackers and criminals. So if wearables get to the point where criminals can see a way to exploit them for gain, they will try to do that."
— Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher, ESET [Source: CIO]
“Even data encryption, greater network segmentation and additional authentication controls are unlikely to impede network attackers, who can steal valid credentials that provide access to critical data to carry out their work. These network attacks will continue to occur in 2016 and healthcare will likely continue to be the top industry to be victimized by data breaches."
— David Thompson, senior director of product management, LightCyber [Source: Channel Partners]