In response to Anne Zieger’s post titled “HHS’ $30B Interoperability Mistake“, Richard Schmitz sent out this tweet:
— Richard Schmitz (@richard_schmitz) May 8, 2015
Then, Anne Zieger responded with an intriguing question:
— Zieger Hlth Comms (@ziegerhealth) May 9, 2015
While I don’t think we should peg all the blame on the EHR vendors (many hospitals didn’t want interoperability either), there have been good economic reasons not to be interoperable. Anne’s question is a good one: “Could vendors create interoperability retroactively if the government passed a mandate?”
I think the question is simple: Absolutely.
If EHR vendors had to be interoperable, they would do it. In fact, most EHR vendors have already solved the technical challenges. In some limited areas they’re already sharing data. The problems of healthcare interoperability are not technical, but all financial and political.
I’m hopeful that ACOs and value based reimbursement will push healthcare interoperability to the forefront. However, that will still be a long haul before it’s a reality. What do you think? If there was a mandate would EHRs be able to be interoperable?