Role Of Interoperability In Care Coordination

Digitally simulated hand gets connected with systems symbolizing role of interoperability in healthcare

Interoperability enables care coordination to deliver a patient’s health information from numerous healthcare providers and specialists. We can’t say that a patient consults a single doctor or a medical practice throughout his/her lifetime. With patients attending different hospitals, the need for interoperability between multiple providers becomes very essential. Smooth transition of healthcare data between those healthcare systems, strengthens the level of care, and reduces the healthcare costs by eliminating repetitive tests and procedures.

Apart from the rising adoption growth of EHR in healthcare organizations, and clinics, there is a huge communication gap between the systems, which makes interoperability a great challenge to achieve. This also makes care coordination to unnoticed in healthcare industries.


The hardest part is shifting healthcare systems towards coordinated care settings and connecting them under one secure communication channel where one system can exchange data with another, under full privacy. While one system can be connected to another, seamless data exchange is difficult. So how we can streamline interoperability to drive care coordination?

There are numerous advanced technologies available for connecting health IT systems, let’s take a look at each technology and how it helps to achieve interoperability.

Point-to-point integration:

Point-to-point integration connects the sender framework straightforwardly with the receiver, through a specific interface code provider by the vendor. This integration simply implies that a transient message is sent from an information source ( a cloud computing EHR hosting center) to an information receipt (e-prescribing gateway, a healthcare information exchange, or payer). The language of each message is not affected, so one message won’t be transformed into the language of another.

Challenges with a point to point integration:

The point to point integration technique doesn’t work for complex situations. For example, when an emergency department requesting for the lifetime clinical record of an individual from all the spots their information exists in the nation.

  • Evaluating the clinical records between two associations dependent on transient messages will be very challenging
  • It’s a very critical process for recreating a damaged clinical record by replaying transient messages from an interface engine.
  • Since each connection requires its own set of codes, point to point integration turns out to be very costly and the security of data is additionally a considerable challenge.

Application Programming Interface (API):

When compared to the point to point integration, API ties together disparate systems to allow information sharing in a more organized way to allow secure data exchange that doesn’t rely on static, document-based exchange. Just think about your software that features an automatic or near-automatic connection to another system. That connection likely occurs through an API.

Application programming interfaces enable data systems to transfer and communicate data among each other. Depending upon the configuration, an API can enable a system to send or retrieve data that can update an individual’s health record.

An API likely uses different languages, so one system can’t fully ingest and then use information from another system. Using open API providers can interact with each other and can effectively access particular clinical data at the point of care and patients can also collect, analyze, and access healthcare information and make updates.


Challenges With API Development:

  • API becomes more inefficient until they are not allowed to merge with newer technologies.
  • As for medical information protection, there are additional standards, with API the data sharing and privacy issues often go hand in hand.
  • There are some standards applicable to healthcare APIs. Compliance with them may be costly as well.

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR)

Care coordination is all about having a patient-centric approach that consistently meets the needs of patients and their caregivers. How care coordination and FHIR are connected?

Since health information is very sensitive and valuable, healthcare APT firms need to follow the same rules for data standardization, security, and integration. In that way, the FHIR resources should meet the following requirements:

  • A common definition
  • A common method of representation
  • A common set of metadata
  • A human-readable part

FHIR serves as a great platform that has enabled easy access to medical data and seamless communication between various stakeholders including physicians, developers, payers s, and patients, which has improved care coordination.


In today’s healthcare industry, the traditional standardization processes nearly take time and effort for interface development. But FHIR enables easier, faster, and more flexible development of interfaces. To achieve healthcare interoperability in long term, the FHIR needs to be implemented properly.

Challenges In FHIR Implementation

1. The cost of adoption

2. Potential threats for vendors

3. Absence of visible case studies

4. Absence of ownership

Benefits Of FHIR

  • Easy and hassle-free integration and implementation
  • FHIR makes data to be easily accessible thereby increasing the healthcare delivery speed.
  • FHIR reduces the time with the document-based data exchange system and makes data sharing very simple.
  • FHIR is developer-friendly as it employs many modern web technologies such as HTTPS, REST, XML, JSON, ATOM, and OAuth.
  • FHIR specifications are free to use without any restrictions


Final Thoughts

As the healthcare industry continues to become increasingly digital and complex, all healthcare organizations need to have systems for exchanging data. Interoperability tools will help you to drive care coordination between healthcare organizations, primary care providers, and specialists,

Here, FHIR is one the best and advanced technologies in the above mentioned three as it promotes interoperability by connecting the entire healthcare ecosystem. CapMinds FHIR implementation and support services will help you to achieve true interoperability.

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