Accelerating health information sharing through private and public-sector actions.

Interoperability includes the exchange and use of information within a health care organization and across organizations.

Barriers to interoperability must be addressed in order to support the level of electronic sharing of health information needed to provide the best care, engage people in their health, succeed in new models of care, and improve public health. Doing so requires collaboration across many private and public sector entities, including hospitals and health systems, technology companies, payers, consumers, and federal and state governments.

However, hospitals face substantial barriers. While health IT tools are essential for building the care system of the future, and hospitals are making significant ongoing investments, too often, the tools are expensive, unwieldy and do not yet support easy information sharing. The current inability for electronic systems to speak the same language to one another and to efficiently and correctly transmit information –- to be interoperable –- is among the most pressing issues facing health care stakeholders today.

This web page provides an over view of interoperability, it importance, and the barriers to realizing its potential.