Should We Even Need to Debate EHR Interoperability?

I saw this tweet from Former AMA president and emergency Physician, Steven J. Stack, and the way he phrased it really struck me:

Do we really need to debate EHR interoperability? A debate would assume that some people think that interoperability is a bad idea. I have yet to meet someone that says that healthcare shouldn’t have EHR data interoperability. Unlike a lot of things happening in healthcare, everyone can see the value of sharing healthcare data.

The only arguments I’ve ever seen against EHR data sharing come from privacy and security advocates that suggest that sharing EHR data can go to far. Reminds me of the cartoon I saw that said something like “How come every hacker can get my health information, but my doctor can’t?” No doubt there are privacy and security concerns related with EHR data sharing, but they can all be solved. Healthcare interoperability is not being impeded by the need for privacy and security.

I’d suggest that the debate on healthcare interoperability is over. We know it’s the right thing to do. The only question is which organization is going to embrace it first and make it a reality. Format, standard, protocols, etc will matter little once we have organizations that have the will to share data.

Let’s stop debating healthcare interoperability and let’s start sharing.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.