Farzad Mostashari, MD, Explains Interoperability and Health Information Technology

Farzad Mostashari, MD, visiting fellow, Brookings Institution, former national coordinator for health information technology (HIT), US Department of Health and Human Services, says interoperability is the concept of being able to securely exchange health information, and then appropriately understand and use it.

Farzad Mostashari, MD, visiting fellow, Brookings Institution, former national coordinator for health information technology (HIT), US Department of Health and Human Services, says interoperability is the concept of being able to securely exchange health information, and then appropriately understand and use it. Dr Mostashari adds that health professionals focus on 3 parts in interoperability: the language/terminology (such as on medications), how the information is packaged, and transportation. With technology, and the 2014 certified electronic health records, interoperability will evolve.

“I think within the next 12 months, we’ll see the technical kinks worked out of ‘system A talking to system B,’” he says. “What we really need to work on next is to make sure that people have the incentives and trust to exchange that information.”