What is 'Interoperability' in healthcare and why is it important?

Digital Health 101

What is 'Interoperability' in healthcare and why is it important?

November 3, 2021
COPD Podcast by Health Unmuted

What is 'Interoperability' in healthcare and why is it important?

The systems that store your health records across different providers are probably not talking to each other. Even if they are, it certainly didn’t happen by accident. 

This is a problem Niko Skievaski is working to solve.

Interoperability is a technical term that comes from outside of healthcare. The meaning of it is when two or more systems can share data with each other. 

Niko explains that there are three levels of Interoperability:

  • The first level is one in which data is shared between systems or providers.
  • The second level is within a single care setting, known as Integration.
  • The last and third one is giving patients their data or Patient Authorized data Access. 

The topic of data is something we could discuss for hours – but we don’t have that kind of time! Instead, this episode is a greatly simplified way to understand it!  

About Niko Skievaski

Niko Skievaski is a co-founder of Redox, a modern API layer for EHR integration. Before Redox, he co-founded a co-working space and business incubator in Madison that attracts fellow former-Epic employees interested in startups.  With Redox, he has raised $4 million to make an API that works as a bridge between healthcare data and the software that uses it, translating patients’ records across platforms.  Niko has a Bachelor of Arts/Science from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts from Boston University.

Key Take-aways 

  • HL7 is the most used integration standard used. 
  • HL7 can be understood as a language. 
  • Integration space needs to be bi-directional. 
  • API stands for Application Program Interface 
  • Interoperability is in the middle of data governance and the legal part of sharing. 
  • A patient’s data could be hundreds of pages long.
  • We have information at our fingertips during this century.


COPD Podcast by Health Unmuted

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