Four Big Questions in Health Care Interoperability

August 6, 2019

Interoperability has increasingly become a hot topic in health care. Check out what's happening both here at Cambia and in the broader health care industry.

In June, Cambia Grove hosted an Interoperability Summit, bringing together over 160 health care professionals around the country for a two-day event. And, in July, Cambia Chief Information Officer Laurent Rotival and a team of Cambia engineers were invited to the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference in Washington, D.C. to announce a major milestone in the CARIN Blue Button Framework.

If you’re new to the interoperability conversation, here’s a quick overview:

What is interoperability anyway?

Interoperability is the ability to access, exchange and interpret data between systems. But it’s not just about data and systems—it’s about helping people navigate their own health care journey. Fundamentally, interoperability is about enabling patients to easily access and share their health care information across all systems with the goal of improving health outcomes.

What does interoperability mean for patients?

People’s ability to access their health care data has many opportunities to improve their overall health care journey. They can share that data with trusted providers and loved ones, and ultimately make more informed decisions.

"Open data sharing across the industry will ultimately help consumers achieve better health outcomes and reduce costs," said Laurent in an interview with FierceHealthcare.

What kind of partnerships are happening?

For more than 16 years, Cambia been working to liberate data in the health care system. We are founding members of both The CARIN Alliance, a bipartisan, multi-sector collaborative working to advance consumer-directed exchange of health information, and the HL7 DaVinci Project, a private-sector initiative aiming to help payers and providers positively impact clinical, quality, cost and care management outcomes.

One of the key initiatives of these partnerships is around Blue Button® 2.0. At the Blue Button Developers Conference, several leaders from the health care system, the technology sector and state agencies pledged their support to participate in real-world testing of the new CARIN Blue Button HL7® FHIR® API data model and draft implementation guide, which will ultimately empower millions of Medicare beneficiaries to more easily access their health information.

What’s next?

For interoperability in health care to truly hit its stride, more collaboration is needed.

X4Health President Christine Bechtel shared at Cambia Grove’s Interoperability Summit: “We’re hoping that by the end of this event, people will be willing to partner up. They’ll be willing to test someone’s product, or implement someone’s standards, or whatever the case may be.”