AMA CMIO Dr. Michael Hodgkins: 3 thoughts on interoperability

In the nationwide push for interoperability, The Sequoia Project is an independent, public-private partnership working to develop solutions to create practical data exchange, largely through its Carequality initiative. In a recent interview with Health Data Management, Michael Hodgkins, MD, CMIO of the American Medical Association, discussed AMA's role in the Sequoia Project and his vision on interoperability.

Here are three thoughts on interoperability from the interview from Dr. Hodgkins.

On the importance of a public-private initiative: "The Sequoia Project…connects industry and government, and it's set up as a nonprofit to support the development of a nationwide health information network — the eHealth Exchange. Carequality is looking to develop a network of networks; all the implementers have their own networks in place, and instead of trying to get everyone to adopt one network, we're creating a network of networks, and we feel this approach opens the opportunity for true nationwide health information exchange."

On the goals of Carequality and The Sequoia Project: "We're not the standards organization, but we're really trying to provide governance for actual operating exchange. Because our members are both public and private, we're completely open to anyone. While developing principles and policy is important, it’s not enough if you can't operationalize it. On the other hand, if you have an operation, but it's not founded on broad stakeholder participation, and it doesn’t offer a shared vision and principles, then it's unlikely to be successful."

On why interoperability is important to physicians: "The level of dissatisfaction with EHRs, and the lack of interoperability and overall usability, are important contributors to physician burnout — EHRs are not the only reason, but they are a leading factor. As we really start to transition to value-based models of care under MACRA, interoperability is absolutely a prerequisite — there's no way to deliver value-based care without access to shared information."

More articles on interoperability:

Interoperability: It’s personal 
HIMSS wants to see changes in ONC's interoperability standards 
Epic, Eskenazi Health to host Connectathon in Indianapolis 

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