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    Six healthcare interoperability barriers to watch


    6. Staff work flow issues

    “You need to think about interoperability as having two layers, one about data and the other about work flow,” says Charles Webster, MD, MSIE, MSIS, a medical informatics marketing/ work flow technology expert, and president of EHR Workflow, Inc. “We are making great progress with the data layer. Part of the reason some don't think so is that they are blaming lack of progress on problems in the data layer when they should really be thinking about the work flow layer. You need work flow engines executing models of work flow [collections of tasks] to make data useful and actionable.”

    Webster says that making sure staff work flow related to information input and exchange is running efficiently is a valuable investment.

    “Interoperability is not just about interoperability standards; it is also about actual integration of work flows between healthcare organizations,” he says. “Go to your frontline staff, those who know your organizations work flows base, and create automated work flows within your organization and between your organization and your partner organizations.”

    Donna Marbury is a writer in Columbus, Ohio.



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