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Blog: Infoway Connects

Why Interoperability? Why Now?

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Lynne Zucker

We often talk about digital health as a journey. A fully digital health system in Canada is coming together albeit with lots of starts and stops on the way. We, the professionals engaged in the journey, alternate between enthusiasm and fatigue. The complexity of connecting systems together, sharing information across organization boundaries while adhering to all organization policies, supporting clinical practice and maintaining the utmost respect for the patient, is not a trivial challenge.

The Path Forward, the recently published clinical interoperability strategy, provided an opportunity to take stock. After a decade of building the basics: regional repositories, clinical hospital systems, electronic medical record systems, national standards, portals and viewers, the industry is poised to tackle more of the interoperability challenge. We have learned much from our efforts to-date and the recent, extensive consultation in which we engaged to develop the strategy explored how our community can move to the next level, accelerating the pace of clinical interoperability and improving patient care along the way.

After 12 months of distilling experiences and ideas it is time to try some new things. Follow this blog to hear more about:

  • A new approach to collaboration and governance, for standards and more, to support an increase in interoperability activities
  • Opportunities to get engaged to develop standardized solutions to common interoperability challenges, for example; e-prescribing, medication reconciliation, electronic referral or chronic disease management, or the structure and distribution of hospital reports

The 2014 Fall Partnership Conference, to be held November 26, 27 in Toronto will be “ground zero” to kick off some of these new activities.

Infoway plans to encourage collaboration between clinicians, digital health administrators and the private sector community to identify common solutions to the digital health interoperability challenges. Surely if we work together to apply lessons learned to-date we can speed up our progress and provide the digitally-enabled health care system that is expected by consumers today.

Have a comment about this post? We’d love to hear from you.


lzucker 100Lynne Zucker

As Vice President, Clinical Systems Integration, Lynne is committed to accelerating clinical interoperability in Canada. Leveraging partnerships and working with stakeholders, Infoway is working to ensure health information systems are connected together to support the exchange of clinical data for the benefit of clinicians and all Canadians.

“I think there is real added value in getting patients to participate in their own health care and for the patient… https://t.co/gopyUy8dfA

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