Hurdles regarding the HIT interoperability issue and examples
Lately, there has been a buzz about the progress of solving HIT interoperability. However, I feel this problem is still very persistent due to the growing pressure for information exchange across the healthcare industry. Many federal incentives
in charge of reporting will end with time, and providers will be forced to rely on technology for information exchange. More Interoperable systems are needed to accommodate these changes. One of the key challenges of interoperability is the lack of right strategies for sharing the protocols governing the healthcare standards and information. Some terminologies have general definitions and lack of clear specification and interpretation, which leads to incompatibilities whenever data is shared between systems. An example is an inconsistency arising from identifying a certain patient differently. A lab system may use ‘patient Y’ while a different system like a hospital one uses a different name, but both of them are referring to one person.
Another issue is difficulties in obtaining health information between technology systems and from providers outside the network. An example is challenges faced by home- based patients in getting information from health providers. This is because there are complexities in data sharing agreement and new interface when obtaining data from this network. The need to manage the wide proliferation of population within the industry presents difficult as it can only be achieved through data integration from these systems (Steichen & Gregg, 2015).
The potential resolutions for overcoming these hurdles and further suggestions
The key to overcoming the issue of HIT interoperability would be through normalizing data. Data normalization helps in categorizing definitions of terminologies to be relevant to the clinical domain. This is made possible by terminology maps designed by health experts. This approach would help organizations navigate information to be applied in different clinical procedures. Mapping can be very helpful to healthcare providers in obtaining comprehensive information about a patient, which would enable them to give a quality report. Another potential solution would be designing Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) to enable access to clinical data among parties involved. This would in return ease complexities within and outside the network. Given that Patient, centred medical homes (PCMHs) rely on primary care physicians, hospitals and specialists for data, any obstacles to the movement of these data would be minimized or completely removed.
In my opinion, I would add the tendency to rely on traditional routines by the healthcare participants as a challenge to solving the issue of interoperability. I would, therefore, suggest embracing digital innovations as an additional solution. This would explore the potential for devising more advanced and better ways that would manage health.
Components important for measuring semantic interoperability
‘Single Logical Information Model’ is a framework that can be the most useful for measuring semantic interoperability. This framework references the supply chain operations for definitions. It works under the assumption that anything measured significantly improves, and it is that spirit the framework is treated as a basis for development. This framework is characterized by various components. The first component is that it creates a physical database that acts as a reference. The second component is developing a library database where queries would be posted. Decisions for supporting patients would then be based on these queries. The other component is that it requires utterances to be submitted to the database for storage. Finally, it compares utterances with the queries to measure the sensitivity of different subjects.
The healthcare industry is growing tremendously and the need for more advanced regulations, and better standards to ensure healthcare services increase with quality. Incentives for exchanging healthcare information are changing as the sector is introduced to accountable care solutions and better ways of managing the health population. The healthcare providers and the state should take interoperability issue seriously and come up with better means to get it right for better healthcare services in future.
Steichen, O. & Gregg, W. (2015). Health Information Technology Coordination to Support Patient-centered Care Coordination. Yearbook of Medical Informatics, 10(1), 34.