The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in a letter to Congress outlined four ways to promote interoperability in health IT, FierceHealthIT reports.
The letter comes after HIMSS met with government personnel last week (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 2/4).
Details of Letter
In the letter, HIMSS wrote that it is essential for Congress to recognize the importance of interoperability in transforming health care in the U.S. Specifically, HIMSS noted that interoperability is central to:
- Care quality;
- Cost control; and
- Smooth transitions between health care settings.
Further, HIMSS noted that within the current national health care infrastructure, different health care stakeholders “cannot yet adequately communicate” with one another (Snell, Health IT Security, 2/5).
To improve interoperability, HIMSS recommended that the federal government:
- Boost privacy and security, calling on federal agencies to work with one another to support “relevant privacy and security standards”;
- Harmonize quality reporting standards by leading efforts to define quality measures that account for appropriateness, effectiveness, safety and health improvement, among other factors;
- Improve patient safety by creating a Health IT Safety Center, as called for in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act; and
- Support the development and implementation of nationwide data transmission standards, as well as regularly update nationally accepted standards and establish testing tools for developers (HIMSS letter, February 2015).