Providers Skeptical of ONC Interoperability Roadmap – Talk About an Understatement!

Posted on September 8, 2015 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.

I came across this article titled “Most providers skeptical of interoperability roadmap goals”. Here’s the first paragraph of the article.

The vast majority of providers surveyed said they are not confident that the healthcare industry will meet the 10-year goal for nationwide interoperability set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

Of course, the article doesn’t give a link to the survey or really many details of the survey beyond it being 700 providers (which is a decent sample size). Plus, it was done by Scrypt which I know pretty well since they’ve advertised on this site off and on since the beginning. So, I trust that they put together a decent survey.

However, I can assure you that no survey was needed to come to this conclusion. In fact, I think the word “skeptical” is very generous. I believe that most providers don’t think ONC or really anyone else is going to solve the interoperability problem in healthcare. Most are in a wait and see mode as they watch national, state, and regional groups toy with interoperability. Other than a few specific regions, I don’t think many have much hope of the situation changing.

I actually think this is part of the problem with trying to make healthcare data interoperable. Most doctors aren’t involved in it. Many are “too busy” to be involved. Many aren’t sure they want to be involved because they’re not sure if interoperability would be a good or bad thing for their practice. It’s hard to make a financial case for why they should spend time working on interoperability. However, there is a patient care case to be made.

I guess I’m saying that I share many physician’s view on interoperability. I won’t be holding my breathe, waiting for it to happen. Although, I’m certainly open to being surprised. In fact, as a patient, I really hope that someone (probably an entrepreneur?) comes up with a creative way to make interoperability a reality, but so far I’m not that optimistic that it will happen. I guess that makes me skeptical.