5 EHR interoperability obstacles | Government Health IT – Reposted by Tier3MD
Against the backdrop of an industry eagerly awaiting federal guidance on meaningful use Stages 2 and 3 and calls for pausing the program, the Government Accountability Office published findings from its deep dive into interoperability.
Specifically, GAO looked at efforts by entities other than the federal government to develop infrastructure that could lead to nationwide interoperability of health information.
The conclusion? Most of the 18 initiatives GAO reviewed “remain works in progress.”
Moreover, in its report Electronic Health Records: Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability, GAO identified five stubborn barriers to interoperability:
- Insufficiencies in health data standards
- Variation in state privacy rules
- Difficulty in accurately matching all the right records to the right patient
- The costs involved in achieving the goals
- The need for governance and trust among entities to facilitate sharing health information
“Fifteen of the 18 initiatives are working to address insufficient standards needed to achieve EHR interoperability,” GAO authors wrote in the report. “Eighteen representatives from 7 of the 15 initiatives told us that they are developing instructions for implementing standards in ways that enhance interoperability.”
Calls from Congress to pause the Meaningful Use EHR Adoption Program have become louder and more frequent, meanwhile.
Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.) chairman of the powerful Senate HELP Committee has repeatedly called for a delay of Stage 3 meaningful use, though the rules have already been sent to the Office of Management and Budget, for review and finalization. And just last week, more than 100 members of Congress petitioned HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to delay Stage 3 meaningful use.