Article: The key to interoperability: safe, secure access to patient health data

Access, Open Data, Open Health

The key to interoperability: safe, secure access to patient health data

Patient data needs to be free and aggregated in a single location, when needed, but that is nearly impossible in today’s siloed healthcare environment where information blocking is rampant. Often times electronic health record (EHR) system A doesn’t speak with radiology software B. Many transitions of care are still transmitted by fax. Mounds of paper documents are piling up. And legacy software systems don’t interact with current technology, leaving large gaps in a patient’s health record.

Giving patients unfettered access to their healthcare information is the impetus behind two federal efforts, the 21stCentury Cures Act and the Interoperability and Patient Access final rule (CMS-9115-F). Together, they are designed to enable the healthcare data ecosystem through application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow patients convenient access to their records through smartphone apps and other electronic methods.

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Article: The Untapped Potential of Health Care APIs

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

The Untapped Potential of Health Care APIs

Leaders of most internet-based businesses have realized the critical importance of using open application programming interfaces (APIs) to expand the reach of their organizations. If the health care industry followed suit, the impact on the quality and cost of care, the patient’s experience, and innovation could be enormous.

APIs are programming routines or protocols that allow software applications to share data. Organizations such as Amazon, IBM,, Facebook, and Google, have all engaged in substantial API “releases” that permit developers to access information so they can build new applications or businesses.

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