Mostashari: Slow But Steady Interoperability Progress

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | June 11, 2013

Achieving Farzad Mostashari’s vision for a U.S. healthcare system where “every encounter and every patient has access to all the world’s knowledge” will require a balancing of standards and innovation and a combination of IT and process change.

“We are so far from that today,” the national coordinator for health IT told the HIMSS 2013 Government Health IT Conference. “Today, my last visit doesn’t contribute to my next visit in healthcare. Most discharge summaries don’t get to the primary care provider; most referral summaries don’t get back to the provider who ordered them.”

Offering a progress report on the Office of the National Coordinator’s interoperability standards development, Mostashari said what some meaningful use skeptics see as a foot-dragging – “why can’t it be like an ATM, where we stick our card into any ATM and we get our money out?” – is moreso an industry, guided by the federal government, working out regulatory and market-based solutions to complex, deep-seeded problems.