Simplification of Health Information Exchanges and EHR

Posted on April 8, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A lot of talk has been done lately on the importance of interoperability of EHR software. Many people point to health information exchanges when talking about this EHR interoperability. I must admit that almost all of the interoperability and health information exchange discussions I’ve seen recently leave me lost. Maybe I’m just not that smart, but I also think it’s possible that people are trying to bite off more than they can chew.

I’d like to see a simplified method for exchanging health information. Let’s break it down into bite size increments where we can actually have achievable goals and solvable problems. For example, let’s start with something like prescriptions, allergies or labs. Let’s get those right and then add on top of those functioning standards.

I previously posted the comparison of the Transcontinental Railroad to EHR interoperability. The reason it was so successful with the railroad was because they only had to standardize the gauge of the railroad. We should apply that same type of simplicity to exchanging patient information and we’ll see better results.