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The Future of Health Care: Interoperability

Tuesday, May 8, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Bevin Rousopoulos
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May 8, 2018


Lack of interoperability in health IT in the U.S. costs the delivery system $30 billion/yr

“The current lack of interoperability can compromise patient safety, undermine care quality and outcomes, contribute to clinician fatigue and waste billions of dollars a year. In fact, one study found that the lack of medical device interoperability costs the U.S. health system over $30 billion a year. As you would expect, it also impedes innovation, which may be the biggest missed opportunity for health care.


Innovators in health care face significant obstacles accessing data, validating solutions, integrating into highly-configured environments, and scaling implementations across varied settings. As a result, the innovation community often steers clear of the healthcare market because navigating it simply is too difficult. So the entrenched, proprietary interests we need to disrupt for advancement become further entrenched.” [“Health Care of the Future: Interoperability”, HCA Today Blog, Center for Medical Interoperability, April 11, 2017,]


Most organizations in health care use, operate or exchange information with multiple data systems, both inside and outside of the organization. Interoperability is the useful exchange of information between two systems with distinct levels of interoperability:

  1. Syntactic interoperability is the ability of two systems to exchange data
  2. Semantic interoperability occurs when the meaning of the information contained within the data is preserved in the exchange



At the PCPI 2018 Spring Conference, Keynote speaker Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD, President and CEO, American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), presented on “The Importance of Clinical Registries in the Interoperability Ecosystem.” During his presentation, Dr. Fridsma spoke to the importance of defining and understanding interoperability in the context of the desired uses and purposes of health data.


During his presentation, Dr. Fridsma discussed topics including:

  • The promise of Meaningful Use
  • Getting to Interoperability
    • Understanding the problem
    • Framing the problem
  • Silos of Interoperability
  • Interoperability and the Socio-Technical Stack
  • What's the future?

Access Dr. Fridsma’s full presentation on interoperability here.



PCPIs NQRN Program

NQRN® is a network within PCPI of individuals interested in clinical registries. NQRN is an integral component and key, ongoing strategic program to advance PCPI’s mission. NQRN promotes the increased utility of registry information to improve clinical and economic outcomes, and is working to improve registry interoperability.


Call for Volunteers: Join an NQRN Work Group!

Members of PCPI have the unique opportunity to be involved in advancing the use of registries by:

  • Assessing the needs of the registry community, creating and curating practical content to address those needs with the NQRN Learning Work Group
  • Promoting advocacy for QCDRs and creting resources to aid in the process of becoming and mainting QCDR stewardship with the QCDR Work Group
  • Supporting the Registries on FHIR project, focused on the adoption of common clinical data elements in registries to improve interoperability in the Interoperabiliity Work Group
  • Connecting registry stewards with the wider community of healthcare information users with distince research needs through our Research Work Group

For more information or if you would like to join one of these groups, please contact either Chrystal Price, Program Manager, NQRN or Seth Blumenthal, Director of Data and Innovation for more details.



The Registries on FHIR Project

Registries on FHIR is a project launched in 2017 in collaboration with the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Medical Device Epidemiology Network (MDEpiNet), an FDA public-private partnership. The project aims to demonstrate the value of adoption of common clinical data elements in registries to improve interoperability.


Health Level Seven International (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a standard that if adopted in registries, EHRs and other source data systems, will improve interoperability in health care.

Expected deliverables:

  • An implementation guide based on HL7 FHIR that contains a common clinical data standard set for registries, tested in multiple registries
  • A publication with the results of an effort to measure the cost/effort to apply the standards, as well as benefits e.g., reduced registry burden of participation, improved data quality

Learn more about and access the current resources published for the Registries on FHIR project.


Get involved with PCPI Today

Want to learn more about PCPI and how you can get involved in our current initiatives to Develop scientifically valid performance measures, Implement quality improvement initiatives, and Access multiple registries to drive optimal outcomes? Contact PCPI Membership Manager, Bevin Rousopoulos at





Our Members

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