HIMS 661 UMDC HIE & Interoperability Discussion

Hi, Please, read and contribute to peer discussions in 100 words minimum each with at least 2-3 credible references in APA style.

Peer 1: Improvements in EHR interoperability as well as other interoperable aspects of healthcare information systems are in demand because interoperability streamlines workflows and allows data transfer between different organizations, providers, and stakeholders (Healthit.gov, 2013). Creating interoperability standards regarding application interactions, system communications, information processing and management, and device integration is one way HIM managers can work to establish foundational interoperability at the very least for hospital EHR systems. Additionally, CMS recently mandated a final rule for health information interoperability by requiring HL7 FHIR API (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Application Programming Interface) and information blocking standards (CMS, 2020). Therefore, seeking to improve interoperability is also an effort for organizations to remain compliant with current healthcare legislation and regulations. Some challenges to improving interoperability are data standardization and vulnerabilities to data leakage. Reisman (2017) write that while EHR adoption was highly incentivized in the past decade, health information exchange was not incentivized nearly to the same level. This resulted in lack of incentives for providers to justify paying fees required to integrate their EHR’s with others, lack of motivation for vendors to offer interoperable systems from the start, and a slow to non-existent pace for adoption of data infrastructure standards. Additionally, she writes that fragmented care and a competitive advantage culture in healthcare sometimes cause information blocking simply to create market dominance and improve revenue through data exclusivity. In regards to data leakage, interoperability creates cybersecurity risks where single point failures can cause the leakage of patient information (Yaqoob et al., 2021). This is especially evident in cloud sharing technology. To combat these challenges, HIM managers should foster a culture of coordinated care, where data sharing is aimed at the overall goal of improving patient care. HIM managers can support better HIE through implementing HIE standards like HL7 FHIR API’s and urging neighboring facilities to do the same. Developing new data safety measures for protecting patient data in interoperable systems is also one way HIM managers can push for more interoperable system adoption.


CMS. (2020). CMS Rule. Www.cmspatientaccessrule.com. https://www.cmspatientaccessrule.com/#:~:text=CMS%20recently%20introduced%20new%20interoperability

Healthit.gov. (2013). What is EHR Interoperability and why is it important? | HealthIT.gov. Www.healthit.gov. https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-ehr-interoperability-and-why-it-important

Reisman M. (2017). EHRs: The challenge of making electronic data usable and interoperable. P & T : A Peer-Reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, 42(9), 572–575. PMID: 28890644

Peer 2: Today there is lots of focus on improving interoperability to increase health information exchange. Some of the challenges in this area are improving interoperability including standardization of terminology and normalizing data to those standards. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was passed to drive the adoption and use of HIT by authorizing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive program. (Powell, K. (n. d.). For example, interoperability improves clinical decision-making through timely and complete access to information, evidence-based guidelines are more accessible, and care is more person-centered when patients and caregivers are empowered by having access to and control over their health data. Health organizations might need to update their EHR systems to improve the flow between providers so interoperability allows better access to patients and providers. The objective of interoperability is to allow the seamless flow of information to make health outcomes better.

HIM professionals support this work by the adoption of appropriate privacy and information security policies, which must also be considered in advancing the bidirectional sharing of data to ensure the privacy, confidentiality, and security of a patient’s health information. (AHIMA, n. d.). Rules and regulations should be followed to ensure patient privacy and security are always in the interoperability process. While information exchange must be kept up to date to allow interoperability to proceed, the HIM professional must keep abreast of new standards changes to implement these changes within the healthcare organization. As HIM professionals, it is our duty to continue our education to make sure we educate providers and healthcare staff on new policies and procedures that implement better healthcare outcomes for patients.


Powell, K. & Alexander, G. (n. d.). Mitigating Barriers to Interoperability in Health Care. Retrieved from, https://www.himss.org/resources/mitigating-barriers-interoperability-health-care

AHIMA. (n. d.). AHIMA Public Policy Statement: Interoperability. Retrieved from, https://www.ahima.org/media/qlkjsw5f/ahima-interoperability-public-policy-s