Friday, July 20, 2018

The current state of interoperability

PARCA eNews – June 18, 2018 – Most data sharing is based on sharing some data fields with contextual integration or sharing view-only document summaries, said Mohannad Hammadeh, a product owner at Orion Health in Aukland New Zealand, in a provocative article on the HiMSS blog. 

Hammadeh says a key to unlocking interoperability is at hand in the form of APIs and the standardization work of HL7 and FHIR. He says that using these tools, APIs are now gaining favor as a way to standardize the way applications can access data.

Currently, despite the strides in interoperability made over the past decade, a non-uniform approach to application of these standards remains a hurdle for interoperability, but that APIs could be the way share the functionality built into proprietary applications and enable abstraction of data without giving away how that data is released. This would protect the source code of the applications while allowing complete sharing of the patient care record.

Hammadeh says the time and cost involved in sharing data through APIs is much less than traditional system. Open APIs will revolutionize healthcare delivery through empowering patients and enable cross community collaboration between traditional healthcare providers as well as new players.

Do do this however, medical records vendors need to ensure that developers can see the value in investing their time into building applications on top of a current platform. He outlined what app developers will look for:

  • A platform with a large global reach 
  • Quality APIs that are based on industry standards 
  • Documentation that they can quickly and easily access 
  • A sandbox where they can quickly validate and test their ideas 
  • Tools which can help speed up their development 
  • A community they can turn to for support 
He concludes that with these conditions in place, developers will have access to everything they need to make healthcare smarter, less siloed, and improve delivery of healthcare for every individual.

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