CompuGroup Medical
Synchronizing Healthcare

Find out everything about the vision, mission, and the people who shape CompuGroup Medical worldwide. Investors will also find helpful information, documents, and other publications.

About Us
Press Releases

EHR interoperability: What we wanted vs. what we got

October 30, 2019
Medical doctor learning about EHR interoperability

The US government laid out a plan for an interoperable EHR IT infrastructure with its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020. The results of the larger initiative may always be unclear, but that doesn't mean healthcare providers can’t have EHR interoperability now.

Here's a sentiment with which physicians, patients, and health IT vendors can all agree: “The only way for health IT to achieve its full potential is when it unobtrusively supports individuals as they strive to reach their full potential for health.

That quotation, taken from the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, is aspirational for all aspects of health IT. Steady progress has been made from the implementation of the HITECH Act. An obvious limiting factor that keeps health IT from achieving its full potential, though, is the lack of easy EHR interoperability between providers.

The importance of EHR interoperability in government health IT planning

Interoperability is and was such an important part of the government’s health IT planning that it is specifically addressed in the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020.  Goal 4 of this Strategic Plan is to “Finalize and Implement the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap” and it’s broken down into five components:

  1. Collaborate with industry and public stakeholders to advance core technical standards for terminology and vocabulary, content and format, transport, and security
  2. Leverage the ONC HIT Certification Program to ensure that a broad spectrum of health IT conforms to the technical standards necessary for capturing and exchanging information
  3. Aim toward privacy and security-related policies, practices, and technology that keep pace with the expanded electronic exchange of information
  4. Foster a supportive business, clinical, cultural, and regulatory environment that encourages interoperability
  5. Publish guidance that defines high-level principles for policies and business practices that advance trust and interoperability

The complications of nationwide EHR interoperability achievement

Many would agree that these points make sense as the steps to achieving nationwide interoperability.

So why do we struggle to achieve this goal? In a phrase: it’s complicated. 

Unfortunately, the lack of technical standards between health IT systems, EHRs, and the like makes direct communication between them difficult, if not unrealistic.

CGM and interoperability platforms help make it happen

Despite the belief that the federal government made a mistake by not forcing the standardization of the technical aspects of EHRs (which would simplify interoperability) invaluable progress has been achieved by organizations like CommonWell and Surescripts, via their Record Locator & Exchange solution.

Both organizations are vital for CompuGroup Medical's interoperability initiatives, as outlined by Neil Simon, our Chief Technical & Innovative Officer.

Neil Simon, Chief Technical & Innovation Officer
We believe interoperability is critically important to our customers, because it allows them to exchange information with the larger healthcare ecosystem. We help practices with integration tools built into our products, as well as our partnerships with CommonWell and Surescripts.

Neil Simon, Chief Technical & Innovation Officer

Development and partnerships in interoperability

By developing our own integration tools and partnering with leaders in interoperability, CompuGroup Medical gives providers real-time access to patient health information (PHI) that is pertinent to the patient’s treatment and outcome. Our interoperability tools and partnerships also seek to solve the problem of redundant testing, improve care coordination, and increase patient safety.

By accomplishing these goals, interoperability ensures more efficient and individualized care while attempting to reduce the cost of providing that care.

Need help understanding your EHR interoperability options? Contact us to learn more.

Related Articles
Doctor and nurse using the CGM APRIMA EHR on a tablet
What is EHR?

Electronic ...

A doctor consults her patients remotely with the integrated telehealth solution for CGM APRIMA
Introducing Patient Connect: integrated telehealth for CGM APRIMA

CompuGroup Medical is excited to introduce Patient Connect, our proprietary...