5 things to know about interoperability


Interoperability in healthcare refers to the ability of different systems and devices to work together seamlessly. This includes electronic health record (EHR) systems, medical devices, and other hospital systems. Interoperability can help hospitals improve patient care, increase efficiency, and reduce errors. In this article, we will discuss five things to know about interoperability in healthcare.

Exchanging information between systems

The capacity to share information between several systems is known as interoperability. The capacity to exchange information between other systems is one of the most crucial elements of interoperability. This covers information exchange between EHR systems, medical devices, and other hospital-used technologies. Interoperability enables these various systems to exchange data and communicate with one another, which can help hospitals provide better patient care and lower error rates. For instance, interoperability would make it simple for a clinician to retrieve a patient's medical history from an EHR system while the patient is receiving treatment if the information is recorded in the EHR system.

Enhancing patient safety

Interoperability can enhance patient safety and assist in preventing mistakes.
Interoperability has many advantages, one of which is that it can enhance patient safety by reducing errors. Any healthcare professional caring for the patient should be aware, for instance, if the patient has a pharmaceutical allergy. But without interoperability, it can be challenging to get this data, increasing the chance of mistakes. Interoperability enables the sharing of crucial patient data between various systems, making it simpler for healthcare professionals to access and use this data to decide on patient treatment.

Care coordination

Care coordination amongst various healthcare providers can be improved through interoperability.
The fact that interoperability can enhance care coordination across various healthcare providers is another significant technology component. It is simpler for healthcare professionals to coordinate care and ensure that patients receive the best care when various systems can exchange information and communicate with one another. Patients with chronic diseases or those who receive care from many healthcare providers may find this important.

Cost savings

Cost savings for patients and healthcare providers are another benefit of interoperability. Interoperability can assist in lessening the requirement for redundant testing and procedures by enabling systems to exchange data and communicate with one another. Health care could become more reasonably priced as a result, benefiting both patients and healthcare providers.

Interoperability standards

Standards for interoperability are crucial for ensuring that systems can communicate with one another.
Interoperability standards should be in place to guarantee that systems can communicate and cooperate with each other without difficulty. These standards outline the appropriate methods for information sharing and communication between various systems, making it simpler for systems to cooperate. HL7, DICOM, and FHIR are some examples of interoperability standards. Healthcare organizations and technology suppliers utilize these standards to ensure that their systems can talk to one another and share data.


In conclusion, interoperability is a crucial aspect of healthcare, which allows the sharing of information between different systems, prevents errors, improves coordination of care among different healthcare providers, reduces costs, and ensures that systems can work together seamlessly through interoperability standards. By understanding these five critical interoperability aspects, healthcare providers can better understand how interoperability can help improve patient care and make healthcare more efficient and cost-effective.

Further reading

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About the author - Andra Bria

Andra Bria is a marketing manager at Medicai. She is interested in health equity, patient experience and value-driven care pathways. She believes in interoperability and collaboration for a more connected healthcare industry.