Having the right information at the right time is one key to improving patient care. That requires interoperable health information technology systems that talk to each other and seamlessly exchange information. Hospitals have made big strides in sharing information – for example, in 2014, nearly nine out of 10 hospitals were providing patients the ability to view their medical records online – that’s more than double in one year! But hospitals can only do so much. True interoperability requires action from all stakeholders, including vendors, providers and policymakers. Hospitals need IT systems that communicate effectively, without having to deploy expensive and cumbersome patches and partial solutions. And they need their vendors to provide this. That’s why AHA, this week, joined with other national organizations and, notably, 17 major EHR vendors, in pledging to do more to standardize health IT and help information flow more easily. This is an encouraging development and we will continue working overtime to ensure that data can securely follow patients to promote the best care. 

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