The Path to EHR Interoperability

The long-anticipated interoperability of Electronic Health Records has at last been codified (or nearly) by CMS’s proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. As veteran healthcare IT journalist Ken Terry writes in Information Week, interoperability is the “linchpin of MU Stage 2” as well as CMS’s proposed rule on 2014 certification of EHRs. How difficult will it be to achieve CMS’s interoperability goals? According to the proposed rule, to be certified as meeting Stage 2 requirements, EHRs will need to exchange Continuity of Care Documents (CCD) with the EHRs of other vendors; use Direct secure messaging to exchange patient data across enterprises; use certain standard medical terminologies such as SNOMED CT; and use the HL7 2.51 messaging format to submit reportable lab data, immunizations, and syndromic surveillance to public health agencies. While many providers will struggle to meet the new requirements for […]