What is interoperability in healthcare?

Learn what it is and why it matters for healthcare organizations and patients.

By Danielle Hajeski

Administrative burdens dragging you down? There’s a solution: interoperability. By focusing on interoperability, payers can cut down on administrative burdens, capture more meaningful insights from data, and focus more on delivery of better health outcomes. 

So, what is interoperability?

Interoperability is when different clinical data source systems work together, share patient health data, and use patient data cohesively. The goal: improve health care quality and outcomes. 

Interoperability is often achieved using common data standards and protocols, such as Health Level Seven (HL7) or Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). These standards help ensure that different systems can understand and use the same data formats and structures, allowing for seamless data exchange and interoperability.

Why does interoperability matter for healthcare?

With hundreds of thousands of patients and providers dispersed throughout a city, state, or country, data can be notated and tracked in a variety of ways. Without a central way of bringing that data together, the important patterns, symptoms, and risk factors that lead to more accurate diagnoses and effective patient treatment can be lost. 

Interoperability allows healthcare professionals to make more informed decisions, improve patient outcomes, and deliver more efficient and effective care. 

Want to learn more? Check out the 5 benefits of interoperability for healthcare payers.