GAO Report Looks at Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve EHR Interoperability

EHR interoperability is viewed by many industry stakeholders as a key factor towards improving health care delivery and outcomes. To date, however, the exchange of health data from one system to another has been limited. Although federal initiatives including meaningful use hope to drive interoperability on a wide scale basis, the process relies on healthcare providers and other nonfederal entities.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a new report reviewing the impact of efforts by nonfederal entities in developing infrastructures and processes that could lead to nationwide interoperability. You can view and read the report here.

The report in detail looks at:

  • Characteristics of selected nonfederal initiatives intended to facilitate EHR interoperability
  • Key challenges related to EHR interoperability and the extent to which selected nonfederal initiatives are addressing these challenges.

In interviewing stakeholders, respresentatives described five challenges to achieving interoperability:

  1. Insufficiencies in health data standards
  2. Variation in state privacy rules
  3. Accurately matching patients’ health records
  4. Costs associated with interoperability
  5. Need for governance and trust among entities, such as agreements to facilitate the sharing of information among

While each of these challenges are being addressed by some initiatives, the report concludes that to move interoperability forward “providers need to see an EHR system as a valuable tool for improving clinical care.”

HITECH Answers and a panel of experts will be discussing some of the challenges addressed in the GAO report in an upcoming virtual event on October 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm. On this webinar, five industry leaders share their thoughts and ideas on how true Interoperability can be achieved. This panel discussion is a complimentary video webcast and audio event. We will allow for Q&A following the discussion. Register Here

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Justin-headphones-smOur Moderator, Justin Barnes: As a healthcare innovation executive and strategist, Justin is a corporate, board and policy advisor. He is Chairman Emeritus of the HIMSS Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association as well as Co-Chairman of the Accountable Care Community of Practice where he assists both organizations with industry strategy and leadership. Justin has formally addressed and/or testified before Congress as well as the last two Presidential Administrations on more than twenty occasions since 2005 with statements relating to value-based medicine, accountable care, interoperability, EHR meaningful use, the globalization of healthcare and more. He is a regular public speaker on these issues and has appeared in more than 1.800 journals, magazines and broadcast media outlets relating to national leadership of healthcare and health IT. He is the host of This Just In airing on Follow him on Twitter @HITAdvisor.[/content_box]

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JE_Photo_2013(1)Panelist Jay Eisenstock:
 Jay  has over 30 years of management and technology consulting experience along with significant health insurance industry knowledge. He currently heads the Provider eSolutions Organization at Aetna. He is a member of The U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index (USHEI) advisory council, serves the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) as a director, and the Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) as a commissioner. In 2009 he was selected by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) to be one of twenty participants in its Health Information Exchange Work Group. Mr. Eisenstock was honored with the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) Leadership in Technology award. Follow WEDI and EHNAC on Twitter @WEDIonline and @EHNAC.[/content_box]

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DMM1Panelist Dan Munro: Dan is a writer and national speaker on the topic of U.S. healthcare. He is a Contributor at Forbes where he’s been writing on the intersection of Healthcare IT, Innovation and Policy since 2011. Dan was also selected as a “Top Writer” for 2013, 2014 and 2015 by the popular Q&A site known as Quora for his contributions around healthcare topics. Dan has also written for other global brands including: TEDMED, Re/Code, Cisco, GE Capital, HL7 Standards, HIT Consultant, nuviun and The Health Care Blog. He is also working on his first book ‒ Casino Healthcare ‒ which will be released in 2016. Dan graduated from the International School of Brussels before completing undergraduate degrees in Computer Science at Coleman College and Communications (with a minor in Journalism) at the University of Redlands. Follow him on Twitter @DanMunro.[/content_box]

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alan portela square imagePanelist Alan Portela: With more than 25 years of healthcare industry experience and a passion to lead via disruptive and continuous innovation, Alan is the CEO of AirStrip, a position he has held for more than four years. Before joining AirStrip, Mr. Portela was the President of CliniComp, Intl. and previously led the implementation of high-acuity EHR systems at the U.S. Military Health System, Veterans Health Administration (VA) and a number of prestigious healthcare organizations in the private sector. Mr. Portela has held senior executive roles with a number of innovative healthcare technology vendors and was among the leaders who pioneered Global Care Quest, an mHealth company that emerged from UCLA Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery more than a decade ago. Follow him on Twitter @AlanWPortela.[/content_box]

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Mariann Yeager HeadshotPanelist Mariann Yeager: Mariann serves as Executive Director for The Sequoia Project (formerly Healtheway). The Sequoia Project is a non-profit 501c3 chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules. She has more than 20 years of experience in the health information technology field. Prior to Healtheway, she worked with ONC on nationwide health information network initiatives and also helped launch and run the country’s first EHR certification program in 2006. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter @SequoiaProject.[/content_box]

REGISTER HERE for this upcoming webinar.

View/readGAO Report: ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability