EHR interoperability is the ability of EHR systems to exchange data with each other in electronic format. In other words, EHR interoperability in healthcare allows multiple providers to exchange patient data securely without hassle.  

Today, Integrated healthcare solutions transform the complete system, boost complex tasks, enhance productivity, and improve the patient experience. A wide range of new technological solutions like advanced telehealth solutions, healthcare interoperabilityremote patient monitoring systems, and more have been introduced in the last few years. Besides, healthcare data management, sharing, and analytics are also critically important for quality care. Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Records are two systems that are currently the must-have solutions in healthcare. With providers adopting EHR and EMR, sharing data across different care settings posed severe threats to the information. Also, sharing across other interfaces was a challenge too. Healthcare software product development providers shared healthcare interoperability solutions to securely access and share health data across different platforms.   

Industry CIOs and leaders, concerned about the sensitivity of health data and security issues, cited to comply with EHR interoperability solutions to optimize healthcare outcomes. EHR interoperability solutions are also the most discussed software today among providers. So, here’s everything you need to know about EHR interoperability solutions.   

The Complete Guide to EHR Interoperability Solutions

With the shift from traditional care roles to value-based care, providers have become more focused on patient experience. EHR interoperability technological solutions aim to boost care coordination and patient engagement systems within the organization. So, if you’re planning to boost your care delivery and patient satisfaction, here are a few tips for the successful implementation of EHR interoperability solutions.

Tips for Successful Implementation of EHR Interoperability Solutions  

Tips for Successful Implementation of EHR Interoperability Solutions

1. Analyze New Solutions

Since EHR interoperability has been in the industry for quite some time now, but updated solutions are helpful for today’s problems. Providers must think ahead of EHR and its contribution in the future. So, EHR interoperability must include new solutions like test results, appointment scheduling, financial information, clinical documents, and more. Indeed, this will boost your patient experience.

2. Standardized Data Sets

In EHR, no two data documentation practices are the same. Providers and custom healthcare software solutions vendors need to use a standardized data set for electronic data interchange. And when integrating EHR, maintaining a standardized data set ensures seamless interoperability. Moreover, the current standard followed is HL7.

3. Standardization Across Care Continuum

A recent report from Gartner highlighted that by 2023, nearly 35% of health organizations would opt for workflows out of the EHR system to provide better outcomes. So, providers must focus on the standardization of patient health data instead of EHR functionalities to promote healthcare interoperability.

4. Re-evaluate IT resources

Even though physicians actively use EHR systems, they opt for core EHR for insights and interoperability. This highlights the need for re-testing IT resources. Providers must timely re-evaluate their IT resources to cater to their needs and boost healthcare interoperability. Moreover, providers must ensure interoperability solutions in healthcare on four levels- foundational, structural, semantic, and organizational.

With this let’s discuss the four levels in brief.

Types of Interoperability

Types of Interoperability

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), currently, there are four levels of health information technology interoperability. Initially, there were only three types of data exchange facilities: foundational interoperability, structural interoperability, and semantic interoperability. Later, the term was refined in 2019, and added organizational interoperability to the list.

Let’s have a brief knowledge about each type of interoperability below:

1. Foundational interoperability

Foundational interoperability is the most basic level with the technical ability to exchange data between two health EHR systems. At this level, data is sent between systems without its interpretation. For example, it’s like sending an OTC medication list in PDF form where the receiving system can store it but not read it.

2. Structural interoperability

Structural interoperability covers data format. The EHR and EMR systems with structural interoperability can dig deeper into the shared data. It can understand and interpret the data but only at the data field level. Consider e-prescription as a good example of structural-level interoperability.

3. Semantic interoperability

Semantic interoperability is one of the most significant levels. It facilitates data handling and usage electronically. Healthcare systems with semantic interoperability allow automatic recognition of medication symbols, terminology, coding value sets, etc., to offer meaning to the system users without human intervention.

4. Organizational interoperability

Organizational interoperability covers multiple non-technical components and aspects of EHR system interoperability. These include legal processes, management, social and administrative considerations, timely data communication, interpretation, etc. In short, this level of interoperability is about everything that can make semantic interoperability to become a feasible system in your clinic.

Barriers in EHR Interoperability Solutions

Barriers in EHR Interoperability Solutions

Achieving EHR interoperability solutions facilitate better patient outcomes. However, multiple EHR interoperability challenges impact its successful implementation.   

1. High Adoption Costs

Implementing the high cost of integration impacts EHR interoperability solutions. Providers’ financial constraint is the biggest barrier alongside their other organizational challenges. Besides, there are some affordable EHR interoperability integrated models available. But it’s best to opt for customized electronic health records interoperability, as it will cater to your requirements more efficiently.

2. Mismanagement Data

Health data management is an arduous task. Providers opt for automated healthcare solutions or medical informatics to manage their data in health care management. However, data errors such as inaccurate details affect the implementation of EHR interoperability solutions. So, providers need to ensure the proper data management practices to ensure efficient integration of EHR healthcare interoperability.

3. Security Challenges

One of the major challenges in healthcare is privacy and security issues. Health data is prone to security risks, and providers need to ensure HIPAA compliant solutions to mitigate this challenge. EHR systems and healthcare interoperability are all about data. So, providers must check with its HIPAA compliance to securely share data across the care settings.

4. Interface Discrepancies

Another barrier in implementing EHR interoperability is interface discrepancies. When data moves from one system/platform to another, the interoperable system must accurately route the information and transform it into a standard format. Provider’s EHR software must correctly exchange the data without losing during the translation process.

How to Implement EHR Interoperability Solutions

How to Implement EHR Interoperability Solutions

Understanding the barriers mentioned above in EHR interoperability solutions, you can adopt the right practices to implement EHR interoperability technology solutions successfully. Here are some of the essential steps to follow-   

1. Identify Use Cases

For successful implementation of healthcare interoperability solutions, providers must correctly identify specific clinical cases, data types, and entities

2. Strategies for Execution

Providers need to be involved in strategic planning for implementing the EHR/EMR interoperability. Planning will ensure informed decision-making, timeframe, and cost of the process. So, providers can achieve their interoperability goals without much fuss.

3. Communication-related to ROI

It’s essential to communicate important revenue expectations to all the stakeholders. This will boost interoperability systems and help the organization achieve its goals.

4. Do a Gap Analysis

The success of EHR implementation is a critical task. So, providers must conduct a gap analysis to understand the potential limitations and devise effective solutions.

Benefits of EHR Interoperability Solutions 

Benefits of EHR Interoperability Solutions

There is no debate about the varied benefits of EHR Interoperability solutions. Of all the pros of EHR interoperability in healthcare, here are some major benefits.   

1. AIDS Clinical Research

It’s a known fact that data is highly crucial to clinical research. With seamless EHR interoperability across the care continuum, clinical researchers easily access required data. Moreover, interoperable systems allow providers to share data with scientists to facilitate their research.

2. Enhances Productivity

EHR systems that are interoperable save time and money while reducing the work pressure on the staff. Moreover, digitization data removes redundancy, and errors and improves processing speed to ensure faster action by providers.

3. Enhanced Patient Experience

In addition to the quality of care and treatments themselves, there are other factors, big and small, that affect patients’ overall experience with an episode of care. Things like the time taken for insurance verification, retrieving medical data from another provider, billing, and claims management go a long way in determining how patients feel about receiving care. EHR interoperability solutions expedite all of these processes and improve their accuracy. As a result, providers and patients benefit from the boost in speed and productivity.

For patients, this means reduced waiting times for consultations or important procedures, not to mention fast and hassle-free billing processes.

Providers can focus on patient care completely with increased productivity. Easy access to data helps clinicians make decisions to improve patients’ diagnoses and outcomes. And this eventually improves the patient experience and practice management solutions too.

4. Security of Patient Data

One of the major benefits of EHR interoperable solutions is the security of patient health data. Since health data have higher chances of getting hacked or attacked, health leaders and providers ensure regulatory-compliant EHR systems. Moreover, EHR interoperability also secures patient data by constantly tracking and assessing it. Besides, the care providers have complete control and rights to see how the PHI is used.

5. Inter-Organization Communication  

This is one of the biggest advantages of implementing EHR interoperability solutions. They enable different healthcare organizations to exchange medical data seamlessly. This greatly boosts productivity for all stakeholders involved since gaps in patient data often hamper clinical and administrative activities.  

For example, a hospital or a clinic with electronic health records software and healthcare interoperability can send and receive data to a pharmacy or a lab testing center. These organizations can exchange important patient data, such as test results, prescriptions, clarification requests, and billing information. 

6. Potential For Automation  

EHR interoperability solutions pave the way for easy information interchange among medical software solutions. This means that an EHR containing patient data can be interlinked with other solutions to leverage cutting-edge technologies in automation. Software automation programs can be used with EHR to retrieve clinical and operational data from other processes. This data can then be processed through automation to highlight useful insights that would help providers and administrators better serve all the stakeholders.  

7. Scalability  

As a clinic or hospital grows in size and expands its services, scaling up the capacity of an existing hospital system becomes necessary to accommodate the increase in size. Healthcare interoperability solutions enable newer medical applications to seamlessly merge alongside existing systems. This enables existing hospital systems or clinical software to be scaled up in functionality without needing costly re-vamps or replacements.  

EHR interoperability solutions facilitate the exchange of data among software systems. This provides a vital means of including additional software solutions and helps healthcare organizations adopt newer technologies. While adopting new technologies often comes at a great cost, healthcare interoperability software eliminates the need for costly purchases and expands existing systems to take in new applications.  

8. Reduced Operational Costs  

This is a major advantage of using EHR interoperability solutions to integrate different healthcare software. It enables the entire clinical and administrative staff to access important data rapidly and securely. In doing so, the EHR or EMR integrated solutions eliminate the need for handling physical documentation, which saves all the overhead related to the storage and management of information. Hospitals are bound to deal with increasing paperwork and documentation associated with patient care and everyday operations as they get bigger and bigger.   

So, EHR interoperability solutions that integrate all the digital assets of a hospital or clinic save a significant amount of overhead in the long run. Additionally, this also saves large quantities of paper, lowering the hospital’s carbon footprint immensely. Lowering operational overhead and significantly reducing paper usage is a double victory facilitated by the interoperability of electronic health record software with healthcare systems.  

How to Improve EHR interoperability?

How to Improve EHR interoperability

Below mentioned are a few solutions that can help improve EHR interoperability:

1. Switching to Cloud

Migrating EHR to a cloud-based solution is trending these days. It can be smoothly integrated and accessed by different data sources like clinics, labs, and pharmacy systems. It ensures seamless interoperability and improves the care quality offered to patients. The cloud-based EHRs allow the end users to store their data on multiple servers regardless of the geographical barriers, ensuring easy storage and retrieval of data. The cloud environment reduces the security burden of the providers, partially and helps keep data safe from unauthorized access or cyberattacks.

2. Adopting a Blockchain EHR

Blockchain is a decentralized ledger technology that can record transactions in a verifiable and permanent way. It is resistant to any modification and data tampering. By adopting blockchain EHR, you may enjoy enhanced accessibility and EHR security. It eliminates the need for implementing costly integrations across various EHR systems. You will just need valid credentials or a private key to access patient records from any medical professional and any location.

3. Use Open Application Programming Interfaces (API)

Using open Application Programming Interfaces (API) is the most common approach to achieve interoperability. It facilitates seamless communication and data exchange between different healthcare systems and applications. APIs serve as standardized gateways that facilitate the information flow, regardless of the original design of each application. It further allows patients to easily access their health records, engage more with their healthcare data, and encourage clinicians to efficiently exchange specific patient information.

EHR Interoperability and Remote Patient Monitoring  

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) involves monitoring patient health outside conventional clinical settings. In simple words, dedicated RPM technologies collect patients’ health vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, body temperature, oxygen saturation, and others. The devices that monitor these parameters transmit them in real time from a patient to a doctor at a remote location. In this way, RPM allows doctors to monitor patients without the patients being at a clinic.  

EHR interoperability technology solutions enable clinics and healthcare centers to incorporate these RPM devices into their medical workflows. That would enable doctors to have real-time data on patient vitals for assessment. As mentioned above, electronic health record interoperability solutions enables the inclusion of newer technologies, and so, RPM coupled with advanced patient data analytics helps providers serve patients better.  

Continuous real-time medical data on patients and its subsequent analysis against specific parameters helps doctors identify if a patient is at higher risk of disease. For example, a person’s heart rate and electrocardiogram obtained through RPM devices can help a physician know if he or she is at risk of health disease. This will enable the physician to recognize early symptoms and take necessary action before the disease manifests. Such a predictive approach to care can revolutionize the treatment of chronic diseases and enable doctors and patients to manage medical conditions better.  

The assimilation of RPM solutions into mainstream health systems has the added advantage of extending access to care further. People living in distant, rural communities who lack access to specialist care can leverage the power of remote patient monitoring solutions and stay in touch with physicians at metropolitan hospitals. Additionally, integrating RPM into health systems greatly benefits elders at retirement homes and assisted living facilities. They are likely to face difficulty traveling to see physicians, so the ability to monitor their health vitals remotely is a suitable solution to make up for the absence of caregivers and keep the costs low.  

One of the most impactful applications of the integration of RPM through healthcare interoperability was is during pandemics. The recent Covid-19 pandemic restricted travel and made it risky to go to clinics. During such disease outbreaks, using interoperability EHR solutions to leverage remote patient monitoring technologies will provide access to care for people who need it. This is especially true of people suffering from chronic conditions but face travel restrictions.  

Remote patient monitoring technologies can change the way we approach non-critical care. However, its widespread adoption and implementation through healthcare interoperability software solutions is an ongoing process. The use of wearable IoT devices like smartwatches has increased the adoption rate of such solutions. It won’t be surprising to see health interoperability solutions maximize the use of RPM within health information systems. 

The Role of EHR Interoperability Solutions in Telehealth  

Telehealth is the use of digital and telecommunication technologies for the dissemination of medical services. Telehealth software allows patients to access medical services without having in-person visits with their doctor. It can be said to fall under the broader umbrella term of remote patient monitoring. However, unlike RPM, telehealth enables people to have remote consultations with their doctors.   

EHR/EMR interoperability solutions can integrate telehealth platforms into practice management or hospital information systems. This will enable patients to communicate with their providers remotely from the privacy of their own homes over the internet. This lowers the cost of care and helps people with disability and transportation troubles receive the care they need.    

Telehealth software allows patients to log in securely and have a private virtual consultation session with their doctor. Moreover, some telehealth platforms also feature chatbots to help people reach out to their doctors to clarify doubts without booking consultations. Integrating EHR solutions with telehealth platforms will enable physicians to view patient histories during a virtual consultation and provide better care. That is why telehealth software became highly sought-after during the Covid-19 pandemic when it was risky to travel.  

One of the most significant applications of interoperability solutions in healthcare is their use for integrating telehealth solutions with mental health management platforms. This will enable people to access mental health care from the comfort and privacy of their own houses using nothing more than a smartphone and an internet connection. The United States is facing a shortage of mental care professionals. A significant portion of the population lives in locations without a single therapist. Integrating telehealth platforms with mental EMR systems can alleviate this problem and enable thousands of people to access mental care.  

EMR interoperability solutions can play a major role in extending access to mental healthcare across the country. Seamless integration of EMR/EHR with telehealth applications can help millions of Americans cope better.  

Trends in EHR Interoperability

Trends in EHR Interoperability

The latest trends in EHR interoperability include several key developments that are shaping the future of electronic health records (EHRs). A few of them are listed below:

1. Cloud-Based Interoperability

Most EHR or EMR systems include an interoperable architecture, allowing smooth integration with other healthcare platforms. EHR systems can leverage cloud infrastructure and services to facilitate secure, scalable, and cost-effective data storage, exchange, and processing while ensuring disaster recovery capabilities and high availability. It can share data within the medical sector, allowing enhanced collaboration and growth of healthcare organizations.

Further, the adoption of encrypted cloud computing can ensure that patients’ data remains secure and accessible, even in the face of cyber-attacks, hacking, and phishing.

2. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

The rising uses of FHIR and other APIs have increased focus on building APIs into EHR systems. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are used to enhance interoperability between different healthcare applications, EHRs, and tools. It ensures seamless data flow and accessibility across systems. 

APIs facilitate seamless integration with third-party applications, allowing providers to leverage specialized services and tools without disrupting the existing workflows. It further allows the secure sharing of certain information, for instance, from a patient’s EHR without exposing the full dataset.

3. Integration of AI, Machine Learning, and IoT

The integration of AI and ML technologies into EHR systems can automate data analysis, data integration, and decision-making processes, resulting in improved interoperability. These technologies can identify correlations, patterns, and insights from the huge amount of health data. Several practices have already introduced AI to help physicians diagnose and identify patient health trends.

Some EHR products already offer voice recognition while many companies are researching to include voice recognition using AI in EHR software. Also, the IoT devices are seeing enhanced usage. Stats suggest the global IoT is expected to reach $289.2 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 17.8%.

4. Expansion of Patient Engagement Tools

There’s a growing emphasis on empowering patients to access and share their health information across different healthcare providers. Hence, the rising demand for patient engagement tools is not a surprise. These tools are designed with interoperability in mind, helping all types of care teams to deliver high-quality care. These tools include advance telehealth solutions for online scheduling, appointment reminders, patient portals, remote patient monitoring, mobile health apps, etc. It improves patient outcomes, reduces readmissions, and provides higher patient satisfaction.

5. Wearable Devices

Another EHR interoperability trend is the introduction of healthcare wearable devices. The number of connected healthcare wearable devices is expected to surge in the coming years. Stats suggest that the wearable tech market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 28.6% reaching $428.92 billion by 2030. 

With the increasing popularity of wearable devices, patients are becoming more aware of their health metrics. These tech devices can store a patient’s detailed insights, like health conditions, day-to-day activities, medication routines, and more for several months. Further, the seamless data integration from wearable devices to EHR systems offers opportunities to provide better patient care, allowing 24*7 remote monitoring of high-risk patients.


EHR interoperability today plays a great role in aiding providers with increased productivity and seamless data exchange for better patient outcomes. After all, patient data in EHR and EMR systems are the real wealth in improving care delivery and treatments. Even it helps in predictive analysis. Moreover, providers must also oversee the software and handling aspects for maximum benefit. Providers using healthcare cloud computing solutions can easily integrate EHR interoperability solutions into their existing systems, eliminating the hassle of choosing the right vendor and additional costs. Above all, EHR interoperability will reach its peak and witness more advancement in the future. 

The healthcare industry continues to experience innovations every few years and faces challenges in adopting them. The increasing penetration of technology into all aspects of the industry has prompted many investors to pour increasing amounts of money into developing novel medical technologies. The implementation and usage of these technologies through integration would require the development of newer EHR interoperability standards. These standards, coupled with the interoperability software solutions themselves, will play a major role in charting the roadmap of healthcare technology in this decade.   

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