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More Medical Interoperability Could Lead to Big Savings

March 25, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Medical interoperability could be a source of more than $30 billion a year in savings and improve patient care and safety, according to a new white paper released by the La Jolla, Calif.-based Gary and Mary West Health Institute and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The white paper, summarizing the HCI-DC 2014: Igniting an Interoperable Healthcare System conference, features lessons learned and synthesizing findings into a call for action to achieve an interoperable healthcare system. The West Health Institute’s HCI-DC 2014, which took place Feb. 6, 2014 in Washington D.C., and was co-hosted by ONC, brought together experts from across the healthcare community to consider how interoperability can cut costs, improve efficiency, reduce errors, and improve health .

Featuring a 10-page executive summary of the opportunities and challenges associated with interoperability, the HCI-DC white paper provides guidance on how hospitals, health systems and clinicians, patients, regulatory agencies, healthcare technology vendors, standards development organizations, the investor community, and payors can all take clear action to drive interoperability.

“ONC envisions an information-rich, consumer centered health care system that allows a patient’s health information to follow them wherever they get their care,” Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT, said in a news release. “We are working with patients, providers and others across health care and health IT to securely and safely free health information that will help to improve patient care and health, at lower costs.”

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