On Jan. 22, the Children's Hospital Association joined with the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and four other leading hospital associations to release a report that sets forth a national agenda for improving interoperability among health information technology (IT) systems. The report, "Sharing Data, Saving Lives: The Hospital Agenda for Interoperability," discusses the benefits of fully interoperable data for patient, family and provider, outlines current challenges, and asks policymakers and other stakeholders to work with hospitals and health systems on the pathway to interoperability.
The report also discusses some opportunities unique to pediatrics — such as connecting providers and schools so important physical and mental health information can be shared. A number of case vignettes highlight the ways that hospitals and health systems, including the nation's children's hospitals, are advancing health IT solutions to help achieve the best possible health for everyone.
Acknowledging their indispensable role in patient care, hospitals and other health care providers are driving the growing demand for shared health records. The nation's hospitals and health systems have forged ahead to create the most interoperable systems possible to date, and these efforts have produced measurable results. However, major barriers remain on the pathway to fully interoperable health information. Working with policymakers and other stakeholders, hospitals and health systems believe the following goals represent the pathway to interoperability:
- Security and privacy
- Efficient, usable solutions
- Cost effective, enhanced infrastructure
- Standards that work
- Connecting beyond electronic health records
- Shared best practices
The contributors to this report include: America's Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Children's Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare.