Promoting EHR Standards and Interoperability

In a departure from traditional approaches to electronic health records, one of the oldest EHR vendors is working to break down barriers between disparate systems.

by / November 1, 2012
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One of the oldest electronic health record (EHR) vendors in the United States is promoting what it calls "standards-based interoperability," joining the leading edge of "a movement to break down barriers between disparate systems and reduce the need for expensive interfaces," according to

The vendor, Greenway Medical Technologies, already has its users exchanging Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs), which are standardized clinical summaries, with other providers that are using two primary inpatient systems -- Cerner and Epic. 

Providers with disparate EHRs can still exchange CCDs via health information exchanges, said Greenway's Justin Barnes, VP of marketing, industry and governmental affairs, but that requires costly interfaces.

In contrast, Greenway's approach -- using "cross-platform exchange between different systems," Barnes told InformationWeek, "could reduce interoperability costs in America by 80 percent to 90 percent. That's what we're trying to do."

Ultimately, establishing a standards-based approach would reduce costs drastically, and employing standards created by the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise industry workgroup would make the sharing of some documents between organizations an easy task.

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