The challenge in healthcare is to deliver cost-effective and seamless care. This means high-quality, proactive care centered on an individual, at the appropriate care setting, whether acute, non-acute or home. To enable seamless care, many technologies and systems must come together in a patient-centric manner, including software, devices, analytics, clinical knowledge and services.
To accomplish all of this, interoperability 2.0 must focus on four areas:
Meaningful outcomes through smart, autonomous actions
Healthcare must move beyond data exchange that interoperability naturally enables, and shift the focus to both near real-time and predictive analytics with insights derived from these analytics. This can help to drive autonomous workflows that can lead to measurable outcomes.
As it stands today, interoperability often reflects connectivity at a single point in time. To create a highly reliable system, a continuous and uninterrupted ability to exchange health data is needed. To illustrate the limitations, consider a hospital using one version of application software. They might be able to exchange data with another app without issue—until one or both of those apps upgrade to a new version of the software. Once that occurs, there is no guarantee that they can continue to share data and, instead, may now experience an interface problem.
Security is also is a crucial element of a highly reliable system. According to the FDA, “cybersecurity concerns rise along with the increasing medical device interoperability."¹ To address this effectively, next generation interoperability requires robust cybersecurity standards.
Medication and patient safety
Sources of errors, such as differences in units of measure, can occur in medical devices connected to a data exchange system. FDA guidance recommends transparency around appropriate functional, performance, and interface requirements for devices with such interactions. Next generation interoperability needs to enhance patient and medication safety.²
A broader interpretation of interoperability moves beyond an acute care focus to include the continuum of care. Connecting various sources of information across the care continuum is a key component in achieving population health management and patient-centric care.³