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July 2013

EHR interoperability issues plague some telemedicine providers

AUSTIN, Texas -- At the American Telemedicine Association's 2013 Annual International Meeting & Trade Show, beyond the EHR vendor marketing sphere and beyond the reach of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's spin zone, health system IT leaders were telling it like it is. Their focus, for the most part, was on problems with interoperability between EHR systems that are getting in the way of ambitious telemedicine initiatives to the point that some telemedicine providers are not even bothering to connect to physician EHRs. National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, M.D., and his colleagues advocate breaking down data silos in U.S. healthcare. But an IT executive in charge of rolling out a number of fledgling telemedicine services at one of the country's largest integrated health systems blames major EHR vendors for keeping telemedicine systems in silos. For now, the executive (who asked not to be named) said, telemedicine providers need to keep away from the "blast radius" of EHR vendor conflicts, lest...

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