Is EMR Interoperability A Pipe Dream?

Anne Zieger | Hospital EMR and EHR | January 28, 2012

In theory, interoperability between vendors offers the vendors some rewards. In particular, by making in possible for customers to link up between their own and their competitors’ systems, they broaden the market substantially, as customers aren’t afraid of getting locked into a single solution. Also, in theory interoperable systems are stronger than isolated sandboxes, as they share data in a way which benefits customers.

Unfortunately, though, the EMR market defies the usual logic of the enterprise software business, so much so that I doubt we’ll see this generation of vendors even try to interoperate with their competitors: Larger vendors have little incentive to connect: The market’s leading vendors already have enough market share (it seems) that they can roll out a product based on proprietary technology and get healthcare CIOs to swallow it. Some may even buy the logic of people like Epic CEO Judith Faulkner, who’s argued that adopting products from only one vendor is safer and more efficient...