I’ve been working in healthcare for more than 15 years now, and one thing that’s always been clear to me is that interoperability is not just an issue of technology. Interoperability means more than just sharing data between providers, it also means sharing ideas and best practices on how to improve patient outcomes. But there are some things nobody tells you about interoperability that—once you know them—will change the way you think about this topic forever:

1. Patients don’t want providers to have unlimited access.

Patients do not want to be in a situation where their data is used freely by anyone. They want to control who has access and how they use that information, so they can make decisions based on what they want and need.

Patients also don’t want providers to have unlimited access or the ability to share patient information at will. In fact, many patients are concerned about having their medical records shared with other entities without their consent. This can include insurance companies and employers as well as law enforcement agencies like local police departments or even federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

When you think about it this way: if your doctor sends an email asking for help with a medical issue after hours—and then shares that information with several different doctors over email—you might feel uneasy about having that sent around town without your knowledge first!

2. Clinical data isn’t the same as customer data.

When we talk about clinical data, it’s easy to think that we’re talking about the same thing.

7 Things

  • Clinical data is used by healthcare providers and their teams to help them provide better care for their patients. This includes things like finding out what medications a patient is taking or which medications might be causing side effects (such as nausea). It also includes how long a treatment takes—and whether that might mean more visits for your doctor or whether there may be another option available for you if one of these treatments doesn’t work out well enough on its own.*
  • Customer data can be used by many different people—but mostly just companies who want information about customers so they can sell products or services related specifically toward those individuals’ needs.* For example: A company might want information about how many times someone visited their website over time; if this person visited multiple pages before leaving without purchasing anything; which keywords were searched most often when visiting those pages….

3. Health systems need to be prepared for health app data.

As health systems prepare for the next wave of interoperability, they need to be prepared for health app data. Health apps are a new way to collect patient and provider data that can be used in many ways.

  • Healthcare providers use them to provide better care by connecting patients with their doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
  • Patients use them as tools for managing chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure—or tracking their weight loss progress toward a healthier lifestyle goal.

4. Social determinants aren’t just lifestyle choices, they’re health impactors.

The social determinants of health are more than just lifestyle choices. They’re also health impactors—things like your income, education and employment status, housing conditions and other factors that affect your overall well-being.

Social determinants can be complex and interconnected; for example: if you’re poor but have access to good nutrition at home (or even better food than what you can afford), then the disease risk associated with being obese is reduced because there’s less inflammation in your body from eating too much unhealthy food.

5. Patient portals are a great way to get a patient involved in their own care, but they could be better.


Patient portals are a great way to get patients involved in their own care and make them feel like they’re an active part of the process. They allow you to connect with your patients on a personal level, allowing you to learn more about their lives and what they need from you as a provider. However, there are some flaws when it comes to using this technology:

  • The first problem is that not all providers have access or know how use these tools effectively (and sometimes even if they do). There needs more education about how these tools work so everyone has access at any given time when needed; this will also help prevent issues such as falling out of sync between different systems due to lack of communication/training etc..

6. Accessibility is a big issue and it needs to be addressed.

Accessibility is a big issue, and it needs to be addressed.

Interoperability has become increasingly important in healthcare as providers are forced to juggle a growing number of patients and the demands of technology. With more devices being used on patients, there’s also an increased need for interoperability functionality that can help streamline communication between them and their healthcare team by allowing them access to information stored in one system or another. This can help ensure that all parties involved are provided with relevant information at the right time—and when they need it most

7. The incentive for interoperability is strong, but there’s still work to do.

The incentive for interoperability is strong, but there’s still work to do.

The health care industry has been working on interoperability for decades, yet the challenge of sharing patient data across different systems continues to be an issue.

Also read: You Should Experience Virtualization In Cloud Computing At Least Once In Your Lifetime And Here is Why.

The lack of a shared standard is one reason why your doctor might tell you he or she has seen your records and can’t find anything relevant in them—or why they will say they don’t know how many times you’ve been tested since last year or what kind of tests have been done recently (or even whether those results are available). If a provider wants access to those records, it may have no choice but go directly through their own system instead of trying another system first. And if providers don’t have access—and patients don’t want them having unlimited access—it becomes harder for both parties involved in seeing each other’s information at all times.

Interoperability still needs work, but the incentive is strong and it’s coming our way soon.

At a high level, interoperability is a big deal. The incentive to get there is strong and it’s coming our way soon.

But before we get too excited about what this all means for health systems and clinicians, here are some things that you probably haven’t heard yet:

  • Health apps aren’t just for people who want to lose weight or take medication—they’re also being used by people who want access to information on their health status (such as diabetes). This presents new challenges for clinical staff because it means they have to be prepared for data from multiple sources instead of just one source.
  • Clinical data isn’t the same as customer data–it comes from an entirely different system designed specifically for healthcare providers who receive payments based on outcomes measures such as mortality rates or readmissions rates within certain time frames (like 30 days after discharge). Those outcomes may not always align with those reported by patients’ physicians; therefore, there’s still work needed around how best practices can match up between these two sets of information so that both sides can make effective decisions based on them rather than just guesswork alone!


We should all be grateful for the interoperability efforts in healthcare and across the health system. It’s not just about patients, it’s about our stakeholders—providers, payers, and consumers. It is a true win-win situation as we can now provide better care to our patients while at the same time improving access and affordability for all of us who are involved in this evolution.

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