Information Technology is the driving force in the healthcare industry today. A growing need for on-demand access to medical information has prompted industry leaders to move towards a healthcare information exchange (HIE) based system, bringing together individual healthcare organization's data as one. The software applications designed for any particular healthcare service should be interoperable to facilitate the flow of information among the healthcare organizations and maintain a flawless communication among its various users.
Interoperability sets standardized rules of engagement between systems - for example, how medical information should be stored and communicated in the local network and how to interact with the HIE. Healthcare organizations with existing systems require a way to translate their data into these standardized types and check compliance to communicate effectively in local and wide-area networks.
For physicians, interoperability allows more informed decisions to be made; for patients, it provides more personalized care and a more streamlined experience. For healthcare organizations as a whole, interoperability means more efficient use of IT and greater potential for future improvement.
Interoperability provides simple access to information at the point of care and enables communication of data across facilities, mobilizing the access points of essential patient data. It also aids in integrating software to healthcare information exchanges in order to grow IT capacity and functionality. Interoperability also directly affects the economy of healthcare markets. Due to the widespread recognition of IT in the healthcare industry, many competing products are being launched into the market. Interoperability of a product significantly promotes its brand name and ensures against potential market failure, in addition to upholding the quality of the product and maintaining consistency.