Report: Incentives, Development Process Hinder EHR Interoperability

July 27, 2015 in News

Electronic health record vendors are lagging in interoperability and will continue to do so until incentives and development processes change, according to a report by Chilmark Research, MedCity News reports (Versel, MedCity News, 7/24).

Report Findings

According to the report, perceptions of EHR technology differ among vendors and consumers.

The researchers wrote, “Most of the major vendors regard their core clinical systems as comprehensive and inviolable — few readily admit that provider demands are broader than existing EHR feature sets.” The report added, “This stance glosses over the functional gaps, disorganized clutter and general lack of usability in EHRs.”

According to EHR Intelligence, the issue has become more noticeable amid the shift to value-based payment models under which data sharing is necessary.

One obstacle to data sharing is the limited adoption of application programing interfaces, and vendors should reconsider their value, according to the report.

However, some EHR vendors have raised concerns about opening up their systems via increased use of APIs. According to the report, “A prevailing view in health IT has been that opening applications to developers increases the risk that customers could more readily migrate to a competitor.”

The report noted that the leading candidate for API use in health care is the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource because of its “relative programming simplicity and better support for discrete data access” (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 7/24).

However, FHIR is still being developed, and the report cautions against relying too heavily on it (MedCity News, 7/24).

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