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Five Key Challenges to EHR Interoperability

Representatives from nonfederal initiatives working to improve data sharing between electronic health records (EHR) have identified five key challenges to achieving EHR interoperability, according to a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO):

  • insufficient health data standards
  • variation in state privacy rules
  • accurate matching of patients’ health records
  • associated costs
  • need for governance and trust among entities to facilitate information sharing

According to the GAO report, the initiatives reviewed are working to solve these challenges with products or services that will be widely available in the next two years. Additionally, 10 of the 18 initiatives suggest that the criteria for EHR certification in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are not sufficient to ensure interoperability of EHR systems.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Erin O’Malley, director of policy, at or 202.585.0127.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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