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Interoperability is a word you seldom hear uttered outside the health care sector (though there it seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues), yet it’s something that affects everyone.

Interoperability is the ability — or inability, as is often the case — to easily and securely access and exchange medical data in a format that is usable and useful to the recipient. If you’ve ever been to the doctor and they were able to pull up your complete patient record, that’s likely an example of effective interoperability because that care likely came from multiple providers.


But if you’ve had the opposite experience, which is frightfully common, in which you’ve been frustrated trying to recreate your medical history from memory or to get your records from prior providers, that’s a lack of interoperability. And it’s a much bigger problem in this country than it needs to be.

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