The Year In HIE: Public, Private Sectors Prodded To Interoperability

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 23, 2013

From the start, 2013 brought some the most scrutiny ever devoted to the issue of interoperability, inside the world of healthcare and broadly in the public.

In the first week of January, Health Affairs ran a commentary by two Rand Corp analysts arguing that the predictions of cost and productivity benefits from EHRs haven’t materialized. Arthur Kellermann, MD, and Spencer Jones wrote that EHR disconnectedness was so common it “can be a problem even when two organizations acquire the same health IT system from the same vendor.”

By March, Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, CPSI, Greenway and McKesson launched the CommonWell Health Alliance, promising to develop “interoperability for the common good” and “create universal access to individual’s health information.” CommonWell represents about 42 percent of the acute EHR market and 23 percent of the ambulatory EHR marke, and in late December announced its first rollout of interoperability services in Chicago, Elkin and Henderson, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina.