II: What We Learned in 2020 & What We’re Expecting This Year

Posted March 17, 2021
By Niko Skievaski

Two: Make interoperability a greater priority

As I look back at 2020, the first thing that comes to mind is that it felt like a veritable healthcare snow globe: shaken vigorously with structures landing in different places than they once were. In one of my recent Forbes columns, I look at lessons learned from 2020 to then help guide four forward-looking prescriptions: 

Prescription 1: Double down on innovation

Prescription 2: Make interoperability a greater priority

Prescription 3: Facilitate telehealth through infrastructure

Prescription 4: Take on more risk (when it makes sense)

I talked about innovation in my last post here. Today, let’s address making interoperability a priority. 

During the pandemic, people are interacting with a variety of healthcare organizations, including primary care physicians, specialists, pharmacies and drive-through testing facilities. When their healthcare data doesn’t follow them to each provider, there can be delays in care or redundant services rendered. In the absence of data, speed, and accuracy of care — two factors that are critically important to slow the spread of a pandemic — are negatively impacted.

Coupled with price transparency, consumers should be able to manage their health information for preventive and chronic care. The recent strides in interoperability regulation have crystallized the mandate for healthcare organizations to share data without friction to ensure accurate, timely care. But we need a more standardized infrastructure that connects all healthcare information, which will greatly improve care quality. The recently announced delay to regulations that would facilitate greater data sharing in data-blocking regulation shouldn’t slow us down from being on the right side of history here.

Here’s to interoperability in 2021!

Portions of this article originally appeared in Forbes.