Health care providers are taking the time to modernize their medical billing services. One of the central methods of doing this  is through the use of electronic health records. These allow patients, doctors and medical staff to stay continually updated as to the status of the patient's health. The first round of adoption by major hospitals in pursuit of this trend has seen great results, but there is always a way to improve. While many providers are able to keep up all records on databases now, they may not be able to get that information wherever it needs to be. This is why many doctors and members of medical staff are pushing for greater interoperability.

What is interoperability?
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society defines interoperability as, "the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged."

Fundamentally, this revolves around being able to utilize acquired patient data within a couple of different health care contexts. Deduplication of data entry on both the sides of patients and medical staff can rapidly speed up the rate at which treatment can be administered. Lowering overhead in this way means that patients are able to get access to teh treatments that they need faster, while simultaneously allowing them to experience better care. 

Interoperability is achieved by making sure that different machines and systems within a health care organization are all capable of understanding each other. Data exchange from one information technology system to another is important, but the highest level of interoperability, semantic interoperability, is about going beyond that. This allows different systems to exchange information and to use it. This means being able to exchange patient summary information amongst caregivers and other authorized parties through the use of different types of EHR systems. 

How are medical staff involved with interoperability?
Making sure that different medical systems within a medical practice are able to communicate with each other improves the quality of life of all of your staff. Not only will paperwork go down, but instantly accessible information means less waiting time and faster delivery for everyone. For organizations that are transitioning to value-based reimbursement programs and billing, having exact information given to different parts of a medical practice can be extremely important. 

Moving your practice toward interoperability with its EHR systems allows all staff to work together. Instead of just doctors and accountants being able to see pertinent information, everyone involved will be able to keep themselves and any patients they have informed. Further, this can drastically reduce the overhead involved with moving to value-based payment, as it will allow everyone working within the health care organization to stay on top of the different variables involved with that type of of medical billing.

Building a better data stream within a business helps every part of that company. This isn't just about making this easier for doctors, but rather for everyone involved with the patient's health, from nurses to accountants to anyone involved with the practice of health care. Improved patient care will inevitably result from the new paradigm of digitally assisted patient aid. Building a community around physicians that enables them to attend to their duties with more support helps everyone in the long term. Health care providers are continuing to move to a more digitally open set of rules for how hospitals should operate. By staying ahead of the curve and embracing interoperability as way of building a community, organizations can provide top notch patient care.