Defining the Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange

 Even with many competitors within an industry, it is in the interest of all industry participants to have a core culture of functionality that is interoperable. With this philosophy in mind, The Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange sets the transformational stage for healthcare reform with a strong connection between health information exchange and interoperable exchange of patient health data. 
The newer model of sustainability would be supported by a realignment of financial and policy incentives to support HIE, according to the white paper. This approach shifts away from the current system of provider incentives to purchase and implement EHRs and toward rewarding those vendors and stakeholders within the health marketplace who actively design for interoperability and demonstrably prove its value in practice.
“The imperative of health information exchange is now, but in the drive to move from EHRs to information exchange, several tasks still lay ahead. 
“HIMSS envisions a world where we move from static data to a liquid interoperable future, but to advance interoperability toward this goal, there are still challenging tasks ahead. Many of these tasks will require consensus building within the healthcare industry and the development of new policies, laws and ideas that have not yet been conceived or imagined. 
“Each task toward recognizing the business value of HIE also requires an understanding of the problems of the current status quo within health information technology, and a change in the U.S healthcare system to a “culture” of interoperability.” 
The Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange, p. 18
"This report serves as a primer on our country’s growing national focus on health IT, prompted by President Bush’s 2004 executive order declaring EMR availability by 2014.  It provides a history from where we’ve come and identifies the challenges ahead for HIE, healthcare integration and interoperability,” said HIE Community member Charlie Rogers, CEO, CoreHealth Technologies Inc.
 “While it is too early to say, initial indicators see interoperability and health information exchange bringing value to healthcare in terms of outcomes, quality, patient engagement and other factors that indicate the investment is paying off,” said  Keith Salzman, MD, IBM, and member of HIMSS Clinical and Business Intelligence community. 
“The connection between health information exchange and interoperability continues as a primary focus for HIMSS through the Interoperability Showcase™ - held around the world each year - as well as our tools and resources on health IT standards and interoperability. This new white paper extends our vision of better health through IT and demonstrates support for the Office of the National Coordinator’s current 10-year vision of establishing interoperable health IT networks,” says Joyce Sensmeier MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS North America.
• Download the white paper on the HIMSS’ website. 
• Watch a video on the HIMSS YouTube channel featuring John Loonsk, MD, FACMI, HIMSS Interoperability Maturity Model committee member, discussing the importance of adoption of interoperability and health IT. 
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.
HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Media Contact: 
Kelly Wagner