EHNAC Contributes to Government Accountability Office Report on Interoperability

In May of this year, several EHNAC executives were interviewed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the status of efforts by entities other than the federal government to develop infrastructure that could lead to nationwide interoperability of health information. This week, the GAO released its findings in a report, “Electronic Health Records: Nonfederal Efforts to Help Achieve Health Information Interoperability,” which highlighted the top five challenges to achieving interoperability.

The report shared the following:

EHR interoperability is viewed by many health care stakeholders as a necessary step toward improving health care. However, interoperability has remained limited. Although the federal government plays a key role in guiding movement toward interoperability, many of the actions are to be completed by nonfederal stakeholders.

Stakeholders and initiative representatives GAO interviewed described five key challenges to achieving EHR interoperability, which are consistent with challenges described in past GAO work. Specifically, the challenges they described are (1) insufficiencies in health data standards, (2) variation in state privacy rules, (3) accurately matching patients’ health records, (4) costs associated with interoperability, and (5) the need for governance and trust among entities, such as agreements to facilitate the sharing of information among all participants in an initiative.

Partnering alongside other respected healthcare entities and initiatives, EHNAC was honored to contribute to this important study, and remains committed to moving interoperability forward and improving clinical care. Download the full report here.