‘Interoperability’, Say That Five Times Fast!

20150113095307_3075In the face of systematic and technological changes throughout the healthcare industry, very few key elements driving the industry’s shift have remained as pertinent as ‘interoperability’. Systems for gathering, displaying, and analyzing data have long allowed patients and physicians the benefit of deriving knowledge from clinical data. Now, the efforts of many have shifted towards an approach to improve interoperability in a move to fuse information across disparate systems for bigger and better data.

Excited to learn more? Many industry leaders who have dedicated efforts to researching the benefits and impact of interoperability within healthcare are poised to present their findings at this year’s upcoming RSNA conference in Chicago, IL. Highlighted in a recent Aunt Minnie Imaging Informatics Preview article, the project of one multi-institutional research team led by Dr. Daniel Rubin of Stanford University will explore the ways in which he and his team are using ‘common data elements’ as a way of gathering and standardizing information from disparate systems in an “interoperable way”.

As Erik Ridley writes in his article entitled, Standardized model may boost data mining, reporting, “Interoperability of data and knowledge is fundamental to quality clinical practice and advancing research. But these efforts are limited by data gathered using different terminologies and information types.” Both government and private institutions across the nation have implemented regulatory standards for maintaining consistent ‘terminologies and information types’. However, while classification systems such as ICD-10 and those outlined by Meaningful Use serve as an interoperable element on the surface, leveraging common data elements in order to standardize data on a deeper and more universal level will be required to provide synergy across systems.

As Dr. Daniel Rubin points out, “The benefit for using [common data elements] for collecting the information is interoperability of that information across systems, enabling mining of those data for quality assurance/improvement, to improve reporting, and to enable research”. Rubin’s research applies specifically to the field of radiology and his RSNA-sponsored project hopes to deliver “a set of standardized common data elements for the radiology field.” Dr. Rubin and his team’s efforts are serving to drive the interoperability of radiology systems forward into the future of healthcare. For those attending RSNA a full list of presentations such as Dr. Rubin and his team’s can be found here https://rsna2015.rsna.org/program/?PAGE=2. Maybe soon Dr. Rubin and other’s innovations will be seen in a reading room near you!


Mark Grenga, Account Executive

About Mark Grenga

As an account executive at Ambra Health, Mark Grenga is focused on delivering cloud-based, medical image management solutions to leading practices that reflect upon the patient-centric and value-based care models driving healthcare innovation today. Mark received a BA in history from the University of Virginia and enjoys volunteering with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters in New York.

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