Because It Remains Tough to Achieve Interoperability among EHRs, Congress is Proposing Legislation to Resolve That Issue in Ways That May Help Medical Laboratories
One new federal law forbids health IT vendors and providers from deliberately blocking information-sharing with competing EHR systems
Several years deep into its effort to get physicians and hospitals to use electronic health record (EHR) systems, the federal government has yet to come up with a way to improve interoperability—the ability of EHRs to interface and communicate with other systems.
Stage one and stage two Meaningful Use guidelines have failed to successfully address the barriers preventing interoperability. Of course, clinical laboratories and pathology groups encounter this problem daily. That’s because they must build interfaces between their laboratory information systems (LIS) and the EHRs of their client physicians. The cost of creating workable LIS-to-EHR interfaces continues to be a huge burden on medical laboratories and that is why they support improved interoperability. But labs also contribute to the lack of interoperability when they enact restrictions on how lab test data can be shared with other providers and competing labs who are serving the same physicians and patients. (more…)