Healthcare Identity and Interoperability – #HITsm Chat Topic

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/23 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Julie Maas (@JulieWMaas) from EMR Direct on the topic of “Healthcare Identity and Interoperability”.

There is a lot of discussion about healthcare identity in the industry recently, since:

  • Patient data is now available via public APIs from Health IT vendors that are moving into production with 2015 Edition compliant software
  • Patient matching problems persist, with no national identifier on the horizon
  • New NIST 800-63-3 identity proofing requirements and GDPR are coming onto the scene
  • Now even Jared Kushner is demanding patient access to data
  • Apple and Google are starting to take healthcare data seriously and a new class of third party “Client App” developers, managing health data, is emerging

All health data managed by healthcare providers carries legal (both federal and state) restrictions about who can access it. Data holders want to be sure they are making health data available to the right patients (who have rights to that data or have been made an authorized patient representative) and to the right providers and payers (certain assertions simplify this).  Initiatives like TEFCA and consumer-mediated exchange and the underlying technologies they typically reference are helping to clarify and expand the ways that better use of health data can improve health care delivery. What this translates to is a huge ask on the part of technologists to dramatically expand the volume of digital data that can be shared as well as the entities with whom it can be shared, while maintaining patient privacy and data security.

Important considerations that need to be addressed in the immediate short term to handle these developments are:

  • How to manage the identity and associated credentials of a querying entity (patient, provider, or payer) that is accessing their own personal health data or large volumes of data and what minimum bar is necessary to authorize such a transaction?
  • Similar question but for a patient app developer
  • Similar question for the patient who either through an in-person visit ONLY or alternatively via an entirely online interaction, obtains a credential for access to their own data
  • How do all of the above change, if at all, when 800-63-3 is brought under the lens? Can the above credentials still be generated through an online-only process considering the hefty restrictions of 800-63-3?

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we talk about the following questions:

T1: What does interoperability mean to you? Big asks/personal stories? #HITsm

T2: Ever heard (from a friend) of health data leaving 1 health system and being utilized in a different EMR? How did this help the patient? What personal information would patients be willing to make shareable between orgs in order to help providers “make sure you’re you”? #HITsm

T3: Does every provider already have the exact interoperability they want? Why or why not? If not, what is the biggest gap? #HITsm

T4: What do patients need to know about a patient facing application before allowing it to access their health data through an open API? #HITsm
(Want to really get into the weeds? See this and this)

T5: Is it a useful first pass for a patient to be able to share all health data from a given provider, or are special “valet keys” to limit sharing to certain data categories needed? #HITsm

Bonus: Do you have any ideas to improve measure reporting in order to reduce the burden on providers? #HITsm
(See this)

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/30 – What is Patient – Centric Care?
Hosted by Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers)

4/6 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

4/13 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, 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.