WEBINAR SERIES: The Foundations of Interoperability

Perspectives from the Nursing Informatics Community and IHE

In 2013, the HIMSS Board approved and HIMSS introduced a definition of interoperability: “the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.”  This conversation continues in healthcare, with the foundations of interoperability still under discussion.

Why is interoperability important to the health IT space?

“Interoperability is important to health information technology in order to streamline clinical care workflow and get our caregivers back to the bedside. Interoperability is also essential for quality measurement and research that will make learning health systems a reality,” explains Cathy Ivory, PhD, RNC-OB, RN-BC, associate chief nurse executive, vice president, professional practice and care transformation, Indiana University Health, HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee member.

Ivory discussed the importance of interoperability in the first of a two-part webinar series, developed as a joint collaboration between the HIMSS Nursing Informatics and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise communities.

During The Foundations of Interoperability: Perspectives from the Nursing Informatics Community and IHE, Ivory and co-presenter Denise Maxwell-Downing, MS, BSN, RN, CNOR, iPerioperative informatics nurse specialist, AORN Syntegrity, Inc., explored the foundations of Interoperability along with its benefits and challenges to the healthcare system. They looked at interoperability from the perspectives of both communities – nursing informatics and IHE.

What are the necessary steps clinicians must follow to implement interoperable health IT systems?

Understanding the definition and related categories of interoperability offers a solid starting point for any discussion on interoperable health IT systems with health interoperability categories depicted in three levels.

Allows data exchange from one information technology system to be received by another and does not require the ability for the receiving information technology system to interpret the data.

Structural interoperability defines the syntax of the data exchange. It ensures that data exchanges between information technology systems can be interpreted at the data field level.

Provides interoperability at the highest level, which is the ability of two or more systems or elements to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. Semantic interoperability takes advantage of both the structuring of the data exchange and the codification of the data including vocabulary so that the receiving information technology systems can interpret the data.

Webinar Series – Part 2

Now, two nursing informatics leaders conclude the discussion in the final presentation: Solutions and How to Engage Within Interoperability: Perspectives from the Nursing Informatics Community Part 2. Hear from:

  • Catherine Ivory, PhD, RNC-OB, RN-BC, assistant professor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • Emma Jones, RN, MSN - BC, expert business analyst, community solutions, Allscripts

Join the conversation on Tuesday, June 6, at 12:00 pm CT

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