The ability for hospitals to send and receive electronic information from other care providers – also known as interoperability – is critical to advancing health in America. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology hospitals are making progress adopting electronic medical records. ONC released a survey relaying data from the IT Supplement to AHA’s Annual Survey showing that last year 84% of America’s hospitals had adopted a basic electronic health record – up from just 9% in 2008. Data also show that 92% of hospitals let patients view their health information online. At the same time, ONC reports that, while over 85% of hospitals now electronically share key clinical information with other hospitals, only 65% are receiving data and just 38% are able to use and integrate that data into care. Clearly, real challenges to information sharing and interoperability remain for many providers. Our goal is data sharing that supports improved patient care and helps coordinate that care across all health care settings. The AHA’s interoperability advisory group is identifying policies and strategies to keep moving us forward. But we also need concrete actions that result in greater collaboration across the private and public sectors to achieve greater interoperability.

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