By Ken Perez, Vice President of Healthcare Policy, Omnicell
Earlier this year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) challenged the private sector to sign the Interoperability Pledge. The commitment is threefold: to support consumer access to their electronic health information, to not partake in information blocking, and to implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards.
Benefits of Interoperability
Interoperability enables information to be shared between enterprise data repositories without requiring a certain health IT system. This allows consumers to easily access their health records and providers to view complete patient records, including medical information, test results and other data gathered over time. Information is secure and accessible, which saves time and money, and results in better patient care.
Current Interoperability Pledge supporters include:
- Health Information Exchange Organizations
- Health IT Developers
- Healthcare Systems
- Provider, Technology and Consumer Organizations
I am pleased to share that Omnicell is one of a number of healthcare IT companies that have signed the Interoperability Pledge. Frankly, it was an easy decision for us, because since our company’s inception in 1992, we have always worked to advance interoperability—even before the term became popular—as it enables the appropriate sharing of data to help improve patient safety, increase efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance. Thus, Omnicell’s signing of the Interoperability Pledge is a public reaffirmation of our longstanding commitment to interoperability.
Further Progress on Interoperability
Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology & Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, emphasized that the ONC is making progress towards its interoperability goals. While some find it ambitious, the ONC strives for patients and providers to be able to “send, receive, find and use priority data domains to improve healthcare quality and outcomes” by the end of 2017. While leaders are “cautiously optimistic,” this pledge looks like a step in the right direction toward full interoperability.
What does the Pledge mean for Omnicell’s customers? It means that Omnicell will continue to develop and implement solutions as well as interact with other healthcare IT vendors in ways that support data sharing. As a result, healthcare provider organizations will increasingly be able to glean insights from data, improving financial, operational and clinical outcomes.