Input from a group of organizations from across the healthcare IT industry has led to the creation of a new interoperability benchmark and measurement model , now in development by KLAS, an Orem, Utah-based research firm.

A wide range of industry representatives participated in a summit to develop a framework, largely based on the 2016 Interoperability KLAS study design. And participants at the summit are expected to continue work toward achieving an interoperability benchmark, which will help assess performance and progress.

KLAS executives say they expect to publish an updated Interoperability Report later this month. The report is expected to highlight significant interoperability immaturity within the healthcare industry, with preliminary findings serving as a starting point for discussion.

The summit involved providers, vendors, ONC leadership and “other HIT facilitator organizations,” KLAS said. Executives from these organizations “came together to strengthen future measures and document goals for interoperability progress.”

The framework focuses on clinical end users’ experience with records systems, where interoperability plays a role in enabling the availability of information; facilitating the location of records; enabling “outside” records to be viewed within the clinical workflow; and producing a positive impact on patient care.

Participants also recommended an expanded interoperability measurement road map to include the sharing of information from and between post–acute care facilities, the gathering of feedback from clinicians regarding interoperable information utility, and medical device integration and effective use.

“We are extremely pleased with the engagement and feedback from healthcare industry leaders, including our federal partners, further advancing our joint efforts to measure interoperability,” said Tim Zoph, Independent Chair of the KLAS Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team.

Zoph said the summit meeting returned useful results that will be incorporated into the KLAS report and can help guide the industry in making progress on interoperability.

“As a result of our conference work sessions and consensus building, we affirmed our current interoperability survey approach with agreed-upon modification, advanced a new performance scorecard to measure vendor and collective performance and crafted an initial long-term measurement framework that will expand the measurement dimensions to encompass the breadth of interoperability for our industry,” he says. “The collective perspectives and talent in the industry must come together to address the challenges of interoperability. Our conference attendees are committed to measuring and facilitating the flow of healthcare information, improving its usability and ultimately impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of patient care.”

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