Banking has solved some of the fundamental issues of interoperability that still struggle with healthcare. The challenges include a lack of agreement on common information sharing practices, a culture of treating patient information as a jealously guarded competitive advantage, and a dysfunctional payment process that does not promote interoperability.
The mass adoption of electronic health records will hopefully mean that for every new doctor we do not have to reiterate our medical history, every emergency room (ER) will realize that we are allergic to penicillin even if we appear asleep, and if we have a condition that allows us to take part in a clinical trial, we would immediately get a head-up.
Like the banking industry, by focusing on focused and highly impactful forms of interoperability, healthcare can accomplish a large part of what they need. The initial to – do list may include notifying the care team whenever a patient receives any health care services, regardless of provider or location; automating the exchange of “prior authorisation” between providers and insurers; and ensuring that all providers are aware of the history of opioid abuse of a patient.
The business case for interoperability in healthcare is taking shape with the adoption of value-based reimbursement models, where providers are rewarded for delivering higher quality care at lower cost and keeping patients healthier. Thus, the financial health of all providers is coming to depend on access to one another’s data.
Eventually, Healthcare needs a single sector-supported agency which produces and refines business case interoperability, defines information and payment requirements, allocates resources, tracks development in the market, removes any legislative and regulatory barriers, and implements engagement procedures.