HL7 to Senate: Government needs to prove interoperability produces measurable ROI before mandating it

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In a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, representatives of Health Level Seven International expressed a need for the federal government to emphasize the benefits health organizations will experience from fostering interoperability before enacting legislation.

HL7, whose members represent approximately 500 organizations that make up more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving the healthcare industry in the U.S., made the following four recommendations in its letter:

• Focusing on business cases and return on investment objectives first
• Requiring pilot and demonstration projects before national mandates of standards and implementation guidance
• Ensuring national health information technology standards development organizations are engaged in the development of health IT standards guidance, along with other stakeholders from patient, provider and industry groups
• Establishing a minimum floor for standards and implementation guidance

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