Today’s healthcare technology is a mix of systems, databases, devices, applications, and processes. By implementing new information technology into care delivery, learning, patient engagement, management, and other processes, healthcare providers are achieving significant outcomes, such as maximizing operational efficiencies, lowering costs, and staying competitive in the field of nursing care. The ability of all the computer systems to connect, communicate, and share each other’s data with no restrictions as well as to interpret the data similarly is called interoperability.
What is interoperability in healthcare? It means the ability of patients, clinicians, and other individuals involved in healthcare services to quickly exchange and use meaningful information through medical interfaces, apps, wearables, etc., for effective delivery of healthcare.
The key factors that inhibit interoperability are:
- Information blocking;
- Variability of standards for the management of information;
- Lack of consistent patient identification;
- Difficulties with measuring, analysis, and improvement of interoperability in healthcare;
- Insufficient resources;
- Human factors.
There are still no clear interoperability standards in healthcare. It makes overcoming the factors listed above more difficult. Nevertheless, there are several solutions that can be used to solve the problem, for instance, using APIs.
The following article discusses in more detail the concept of interoperability in healthcare, explains some ways to overcome factors that inhibit interoperability and the role of API in healthcare interoperability implementation.