A complex health care system requires diverse electronic health record (EHR) products. One size does not fit all. To realize their full potential, EHR products must be able to share information seamlessly. An interoperable health IT environment makes this possible.

EHR Interoperability enables better workflows and reduced ambiguity, and allows data transfer among EHR systems and health care stakeholders. Ultimately, an interoperable environment improves the delivery of health care by making the right data available at the right time to the right people.

In creating an interoperable health IT environment, standards are particularly critical in four areas of EHR technology:

  • How applications interact with users (such as e-prescribing)
  • How systems communicate with each other (such as messaging standards)
  • How information is processed and managed (such as health information exchange)
  • How consumer devices integrate with other systems and applications (such as tablet PCs)