• by bcarlson@marketresearch.com
  • March 4 2016
  • EHR

EMR Interoperability a Dominant Issue at 2016 HIMSS Meeting

EMR Interoperability a Dominant Issue at 2016 HIMSS Meeting

Electronic medical records and the need for EMR interoperability between vendor systems dominated the conversation as 42,000 attendees gathered at this year’s 2016 Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Las Vegas, NV.    The conference grows in attendance and importance each year and this year the meeting covered four floors of the Sands Convention Center.  Kalorama’s analyst and EMR report author Mary Anne Crandall attended the event.   Kalorama covers the EMR market every year and plans an update in April.

Major EMR/EHR players such as Epic, Cerner, McKesson, Philips, GE Healthcare, Allscripts,Dell, Optum and many other companies were present.  

"The big trend is connection of care and developing solutions to expand connectivity," Crandall said. "There is an effort to join together via Commonwell and Carequality organizations. Interoperability is still one of the biggest worries of the industry along with not remaining competitive."  

EMR Interoperability in Healthcare

 Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell spole at the meeting and unveiled a private sector commitments pledge at HIMSS16. The pledge, supported by the AMA and the significant vendors, seeks to bolster EMR interoperability in healthcare by enabling consumer access to their data, improving transparency and encouraging widespread adoption of national interoperability standards.  

I’m excited to announce today that companies that provide over 90 percent of electronic health records used by U.S. hospitals have stepped up and made public commitments to make data work better for consumers and providers. The nation’s five largest health care systems and more than a dozen leading professional associations and stakeholder groups have also made the pledge. Some of the biggest, most influential names in health care, including health care systems serving patients in 46 states, are standing up to become leaders in this progress.

Health IT developers like Cerner, Epic, and Meditech. Health care systems like HCA, Community Health Systems, and Ascension Health.

They also include leading consumer, provider and technology societies like the National Partnership for Women and Families, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and our gracious hosts today, HIMSS.

Together, they are helping us put patients first, through three specific commitments:

  1. They have agreed to make it easier for consumers to access their data, from test results to care progress to communicating with their providers. They are going to use standardized APIs so that user-friendly resources, like mobile apps, can quickly come to market and will be compatible with varied sources of electronic health information.
  2. They have agreed to not block information and allow data to move, unimpeded by barriers like fees and perceived legal restrictions.
  3. They have agreed to speak the same language: We’ve created a catalog of existing and emerging standards and implementation specifications to help our technology communicate. Our private sector partners have committed to using it.

Another trend noted was the idea of "full-range solutions."   Vendor booths focused this year not only on EMR alone but EMR along with population health, analytcs, cloud service, data repository, predictive analytics, billing and insurance claims and tying to the patient with tablets, smart watches and other components.  Information from the meeting and other industry developments will be summarized in Kalorama Informaton’s upcoming EMR 2016, due out in April.