What Dr. Tom Price, an Allscripts VP and 2 physician C-suite leaders predict about interoperability in the next 5 years

Healthcare leaders discussed the nuances of policy, technology and market pressures during a keynote panel May 10 at Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + Clinical Leadership 2018 conference in Chicago.

Panelists included:

  • Ira Byock, MD, founder and CMO of Providence Institute for Human Caring in Torrance, Calif.
  • Leigh Burchell, vice president of government affairs for Allscripts
  • Andrew Rosenberg, MD, CIO of Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor
  • Thomas Price, MD, orthopedic surgeon and 23rd secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Moderated by Scott Becker, partner at McGuireWoods and publisher of Becker's Hospital Review

Panelists made four predictions regarding interoperability in the next five years.

Ms. Burchell: Make the business case for technology vendors, and interoperability will follow.

"The business case [for interoperability] still isn't there," Ms. Burchell said. "We have policy vehicles that are supposed to provide that business case, but so far haven't really done so; Meaningful Use 3 didn't do it, MACRA was supposed to do it, and it hasn't been implemented entirely to lead to that. Until we have the business case so the [return on investment] is there, we'll still be talking about interoperability five years from now. 

Dr. Price: Millennial expectations for speed and convenience will drive interoperability.

"Millennials are going to drive the transformation [to interoperability]," Dr. Price said. "They are impatient about everything, and they will be impatient about this, so that's why I’m excited about where we are and how the next generation is going to drive the next stage."

Dr. Byock: Consumer IT giants will empower patients to own their health information.

"Everyone is talking about a provider-owned information system, but I can see where the [health information] distribution model is going, and it's not coming from government and not from health IT," Dr. Byock said. "It will come from outside [healthcare]. … One day, we will wake up and find that Apple or Google bought Epic or Allscripts, and patients will have a personal, patient-owned health record."

Dr. Rosenberg: Interoperability will involve shared ownership of patient health data.

"I don't think people will necessarily want that ownership [of their health record], I think they'll still want someone to hold onto it and help them organize it and manage it," Dr. Rosenberg said. "I think there will be disruption, but I don't think it will be so wholesale [as Dr. Byock suggested.] There are many other industries where people give up the management of their information to others. I think [consumers] still want the U.S. healthcare system as an industry to have their health information, but not a specific health system."

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