The Link Between Trust, Interoperability and Better Patient Outcomes

January 28, 2020

Interoperability is a big word, both literally and figuratively, and often means different things to different people. Section 4003 of the 21st Century Cures Act defines interoperability as the access, sharing and use of individual patient information and health data. This information is distributed among, and held by, so many different individuals and organizations – doctors, pharmacists, health plans, and PBMs, to name just a few – so it’s no wonder that trust among all of those entities, as well as with patients and their families, plays such a key role in achieving interoperability.

We recently released the second installment in our two-part video series on trust. In it we explore how trust in an interoperable network is a key ingredient in the flow of medical information, which enables better care coordination.


According to Dr. Danny Lee, chief medical informatics officer at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, trust around health care data and improved sharing of health information between care providers is going to lower healthcare costs by reducing the number of redundant or unnecessary tests, and increase patient safety by ensuring everyone’s on the same page regarding care plans.

‘I think about how we’re delivering care today,” says Pooja Babbrah, healthcare technology consultant at Point-of-Care Partners. “It’s not always in a physician’s office. Specialists are involved, pharmacists are involved, nurse case managers are involved. Being able to share that information electronically in a secure manner will help speed up time to therapy as well as get the patient the care they need.” In other words, interoperability—and therefore trust—leads to better patient outcomes.

A truly interoperable network is required to provide actionable patient intelligence that leads to better healthcare decisions, regardless of care provider or geography. At Surescripts, we've spent nearly two decades building and optimizing such a network, with trust at its core. As the nation’s most trusted and capable health information network, maintaining this trust is part of who we are, and it is baked into everything we do.

As the industry prepares to implement ONC’s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), we’re aligned with the government in its mission to break down information and technology barriers to improve healthcare. To make this happen, though, all participants in the ecosystem—healthcare organizations, electronic health record companies, physicians, pharmacies, technology companies, the federal government, and others—need to work together to share health information through a trusted and secure framework. 

Check out the second episode of the series to learn more about what Surescripts is doing to maintain a trusted network, exchange health information safely and securely, and deliver better patient outcomes.

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