cocir
sustainable competence in advancing healthcare
European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry
cocir
sustainable competence in advancing healthcare
European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry
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About Interoperability

What is Interoperability ?

eHealth interoperability means the ability of two or more eHealth systems to use and exchange both computer interpretable data and human understandable information and knowledge.

There are three levels of Interoperability

1. Organisational Interoperability also  referred  to  as  legal,  process  or  co-operability  interoperability  -  refers  to the broader environment of laws, policies, procedures and bilateral cooperation needed to allow the seamless exchange of information  between  different  organisations,  regions  and  countries.

2. Semanctic Interoperability refers to the ability to ensure that the precise meaning of exchanged information is interpretable by any other system or application not initially developed for this purpose.

3. Technical Interoperability means the ability of two or more ICT applications, to accept data from each other and perform a given task in an appropriate and satisfactory manner without the need for extra operator intervention.

In June 2016, COCIR published the new paper

 

"Perspectives and recommendations on Interoperability" Report

Nicole Denjoy, COCIR Secretary General is the Issue Leader of the report on "Opens external link in new windowPerspectives and recommendations on Interoperability", published by the Opens external link in new windoweHealth Stakeholder Group, a European Commission advisory body.

This multistakeholder report published on the European Commission website includes a set of recommendations to the attention of EU Member States and EU institutions.This report contains an overview of the most used standards in eHealth throughout the EU, as well as a list of all EU funded projects dealing with interoperability in eHealth. Set of recommendations given include, for example, that efforts towards interoperability in healthcare focus on a set of priority use cases, like patient summaries (i.e. basic health records) or ePrescription, to ensure systems "talk to each other" where it's mostly needed.

 

BENEFITS OF eHEALTH INTEROPERABILITY

1. EASIER AND FASTER ACCESS TO PATIENTS’ INFORMATION

With interoperable systems, data can be exchanged and stored automatically rather than re-typed into the system each time. This applies to all kinds of data used in healthcare: laboratory results, therapeutic procedures, medication administration, clinical notes, billing etc.

This leads to:

  • Acceleration of communication
  • Reduction in data (re-)capture errors
  • Reduction in duplicate efforts
  • Reduction in workload

2. BETTER DIAGNOSIS, BETTER QUALITY OF TREATMENT, BETTER PATIENT SAFETY

Giving medical professionals faster access to patients’ data allows better diagnosis, better quality treatment, and better patient safety through:

  • Avoidance of medication interactions
  • Improved knowledge of the patient health status, family history, personal history
  • Better care coordination between the different healthcare professionals

3. IMPROVED COST EFFICIENCY

Interoperability between systems reduces administrative costs through a reduction in manual data capture, duplicate efforts and in the workload for both clinical and administrative staff (as described in point 1 above).

Systems built on the same data exchange standards and using open access technologies are easier to integrate, reducing the implementation costs of new IT solutions in hospitals. It reduces the adaptation time of the solution to the hospital’s existing IT infrastructure and less maintenance/technical support from the vendor

4. INCREASED CONSUMER CHOICE AND ENHANCED COMPETITION

Interoperability between vendors and systems enhances the choice for consumers. If the solutions are interoperable, customers have more choice in buying what they need, while at the same time providers and vendors can introduce their products to more markets. Interoperability also opens the market for new entrants, increasing competition and innovation.

5. MORE END TO END SECURITY FOR DATA TRANSFERS

The exchange of patient data electronically requires privacy risks (identity theft, intrusion, alteration of data, and unauthorised access) to be addressed. Truly end to end interoperable IT systems with embedded privacy design reduce these risks through compatible security models, identification and authentication processes, data encryption etc.