Posted in EHRs

Interoperability a top priority for healthcare organizations in 2017

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
Interoperability a top priority for healthcare organizations in 2017

Improving interoperability is the top electronic health records (EHR) improvement project planned by respondents to this year’s Healthcare IT News survey of healthcare organizations.

Sixty percent of the 95 healthcare executives polled in October 2016 said interoperability initiatives already are underway or are in the planning stages, followed by improving workflow (55 percent), improving usability and adding population health tools to EHRs (37 percent each), migrating to the cloud (28 percent), major EHR system upgrade (24 percent), and replacing EHR (21 percent).

Asked which specific interoperability projects their enterprises will be working on in 2017, 65 percent of respondents said they intend to connect to external databases, such as health information exchanges. More than half (54 percent) said they would be connecting applications within their organizations, while 37 percent said they would connecting devices to existing systems.

However, respondents cited several obstacles to interoperability, including lack of industry standards (40 percent), EHR vendors (27 percent), the “culture of hoarding” (18 percent), and financial concerns (12 percent).

In addition to revealing their plans and concerns regarding interoperability, respondents to the “2017: The Year Ahead in Health IT” survey identified several emerging technologies in which they plan to invest this year, including prescriptive analytics (63 percent), artificial intelligence (34 percent), genomic tools and machine learning (21 percent each), cognitive computing (19 percent), and blockchain (6 percent).

You can see the full results of the survey in this slide show.