Members of the 2013-2014 HIMSS Health Information Exchange and Interoperability & Standards Committees formed a joint workgroup to develop this comprehensive and informative business case for the adoption of HIE and interoperability across the healthcare industry. The resulting white paper demonstrates the commonalities between the healthcare industry and other major industries - such as the telephone and banking industries - that have undergone significant transformation through the adoption of interoperable practices, technologies and policies. Readers will learn about both the challenges and benefits of this undertaking, with attention to costs and stakeholder responsibilities, as well as the positive outcomes for all stakeholders that not only justify but insist upon successful implementation.
The paper offers a real-world perspective on the hurdles that still lay ahead, and provides a series of recommendations toward advancing interoperability in the United States in such a way that sustainability is ensured, and the culture of interoperability becomes natural and accepted, both within the healthcare community and beyond. Additional resources and references are also provided throughout the paper to guide readers in developing a thorough understanding of the current state of the industry, and what needs to be done to move forward.