The Reality of Healthcare Interoperability

This white paper discusses three obstacles to interoperability and includes two case studies - from Intel and Geisinger.

Healthcare costs are rising because the U.S. healthcare system is complicated, fragmented, and outdated. Our system of healthcare was not purposefully designed to deliver care, but rather it emerged from the interactions of stakeholders with misaligned or, in some cases, conflicting incentives. Today, we are feeling the impact of uncontrolled costs, and we now have a critical mass of patient data stored electronically. This gives us both the motivation and the means to begin modernizing the healthcare system.

This white paper outlines the problems U.S. employers face; why seamless data exchange among disparate networks is central to the solution; and the interoperability problems we must solve. We’ll discuss the fact that:

• U.S. employers bear a large burden of private healthcare spending to cover their employees.

• Data is key to managing healthcare costs, but special effort is needed to move data between networks.

• A focus on data standards common to all networks allows healthcare organizations to focus on making the right connections among disparate networks. 

Healthcare Standards Hierarchy

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