10 key EHR interoperability trends, outlined by KLAS and CHIME  

Interoperability continues to improve in healthcare, with 67 percent of providers in 2020 reporting they often or nearly always have access to needed records, up from 28 percent in 2017, according to a recent KLAS Research and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives report.

For its EHR interoperability trends report, KLAS and CHIME analyzed data from a 2020 interoperability survey of healthcare executives to determine the top 10 themes in health data sharing among providers.

Here are the 10 trends:

1. Deep interoperability is progressing, and many organizations are prepared for significant progress in the coming years.

2. Almost all EHR vendors have improved connections to outside EHR systems over the past four years.

3. Ambulatory clinics and smaller hospitals are connecting to share data now more than ever before.

4. High costs and lack of EHR vendor technical readiness make interoperability harder for half of providers.

5. The use of national networks to achieve deep interoperability has been steadily increasing since 2017; overall, providers consider public health information exchanges the most valuable sharing method.

6. While patient-facing app use is still in the early stages, it is growing among providers. Apple is the most common third party being used, and several organizations that are not currently using patient-facing apps said they are in the process of certifying with Apple to start using its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources functionality.

7. Large health systems make up the majority of organizations adopting FHIR application programming interfaces, primarily for patient-record exchange, clinician-enabling tools and patient-facing tools.

8. About one-third of providers with FHIR APIs said they are too early in their interoperability process to rate their satisfaction with the technologies.

9. Proprietary APIs, such as patient-record exchange, patient-facing tools and clinician-facing tools are proving to be valuable among provider organizations.

10. Over the next two to three years, providers want their vendors to focus on improving patient-record exchange by making it bidirectional and enhancing population health capabilities.


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