Interoperability and consumerism: How 2 IT execs are thinking about patient data

Interoperability was at the forefront of the health IT conversation before the pandemic, and then was moved aside for more pressing priorities.

However, new interoperability rules are taking effect and health systems are making those initiatives a priority again.

At the Becker's Healthcare Health IT + Revenue Cycle Management Virtual Event on July 24, Vice Chancellor for Information, Technology and Data and Chief Data Officer of UC Irvine and UCI Health Tom Andriola and CIO of Phoenix-based Banner Health Deanna Wise discussed their outlook on interoperability and consumerism in healthcare.

Editor's note: These responses have been slightly edited for clarity and length.

Click here to view the full presentation on-demand.

Question: How are you thinking about interoperability? What are the challenges and how are you preparing for the final interoperability rules?

Tom Andriola: Data needs to be openly shared. Data needs to be the property of the patient. And data friction points need to be eradicated. I start with those three things in saying that everything we do has to come back and show how it supports those three things. That has been how I'm pushing our organization to adopt the right mentality around data and interoperability and then try to execute around it.

Deanna Wise: For the patient side, it should be as simple as selecting the airline. Do you want to go in the shortest time? Do you want to have the highest quality? Quality is the no-brainer, but do you want to pick a location to have the image done. I'm willing to drive two hours if I can have it done today. We have to make it easy and make sure as a patient I know I might be willing to pay more, or I might choose a provider because it's cheapest for my insurance company and that's what I need to have. So there needs to be those toggle switches of exactly which way we're going, like the airlines. We'll get there some day, but we're not there today.

TA: So you're saying interoperability enabling consumerism behavior in healthcare is coming at us.

DW: That's exactly where we need to be.

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