Information Technology, Quality and Population Health

2019 MIPS Update: What does “interoperability” mean? Why does it matter?

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), “Interoperability describes the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data, and interpret that shared data. For two systems to be interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and subsequently present that data such that it can be understood by a user.”

Interoperability is important because it:

  • Allows the electronic sharing of patient information between different EHR systems and healthcare providers
  • Improves the ease with which doctors can provide care to their patients and patients can move in and out of different care facilities
  • Makes it easier for medical services/providers to share patient information
  • Makes patient care more efficient by avoiding duplication of orders/tests to helping specialists communicate quickly with referring physicians
  • Provides safety and protection of confidential patient data
  • Includes the ability to exchange and share data from a range of sources, including laboratories, clinics, pharmacies, hospitals and medical practices.

In 2019, hospitals are required to report on four “Promoting Interoperability” objectives:

What you can do to help:

  • Utilize e-Prescribing for all discharge medication orders
  • If e-Prescribing opioids, please conduct a prescription drug history first
  • Document a summary of care record in the EHR which will electronically be exchanged with the next provider
  • Encourage patients to sign up & view information via MyChart