Is Your Healthcare IT Team Addressing Interoperability Standards?

KAYSVILLE, Utah, July 24, 2015 – Every healthcare organization in the country has been through transformative changes in systems and interoperability needs over the past five years. Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems have been cajoled into place by governmental decree, incentive payments, deadlines, and now, threats of decertification.1 And integrating disparate healthcare systems is costly and certainly not easy.

And yet, physicians aren’t happy with the results. In fact, according to Becker’s Health IT and CIO Review:

“Recently, the EHR market has seen an infusion of providers seeking replacements for their current systems. Surveys suggest at least one-third of physicians are dissatisfied with their current EHR, and more than half would not recommend their current EHR to colleagues. Tied with financial issues, 37 percent of physicians reported the EHR as their number one challenge.”

IT teams, chartered with serving the needs of both patients and staff, have been working hard to deliver systems that support people in a highly charged, sometimes political environment. And the critical nature of their work just doesn’t stop. Again, from Becker’s:

“With meaningful use stage 3 delayed until 2017, and a chorus of voices calling for an extended moratorium on the policy, the need for EHR vendors to offer providers systems capable of efficient data use and exchange has never been more pressing.

Enter interoperability standards.

The governing body of interoperability standards is a global non-profit called Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE). Founded in 1997 by HIMSS and RSNA, IHE facilitates the “collaboration of healthcare providers and industry leaders to work together to improve interoperability and exchange of health information.”

This collaboration involves more than 700 member organizations around the globe and thousands of volunteers working on 12 major areas of clinical and operational domains:


Anatomic PathologyDentistryCardiology
Eye CareIT InfrastructureLaboratory
Patient Care CoordinationPatient Care DevicesPharmacy
Quality, Research and Public HealthRadiation OncologyRadiology


Their work culminates in published Profiles, or frameworks, for health IT production environments.  IHE USA States:

“Each IHE Profile describes a clinical requirement and solution for systems integration. It defines functional components, called IHE Actors, by specifying in careful detail the transactions each IHE Actor must perform, based on standards such as DICOM, HL7® and many others. This detailed information allows IT professionals to implement IHE profiles into health IT systems.”

Without such frameworks, interoperability and healthcare system integrations will remain expensive, complex and sure to delay the seamless electronic exchange of health information. And – even with meaningful use delays in place – the risk of decertification sits directly on the shoulders of IT.

IHE is driving vendors and healthcare providers to a shared, successful end game. Qvera is actively in support of IHE efforts.

For more information on IHE frameworks, and how Qvera is supporting them, connect with us.

1 The 2015 Continuing Resolution Omnibus (‘Cromnibus’) spending bill passed early this year introduced the potential of decertification for those EHRs that prevent the electronic exchange of health information – a practice Cromnibus refers to as ‘Data Blocking.’