Interoperability of Personal Health Records

In healthcare, interoperability is the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged. Despite the efforts of the standards bodies in various countries EHR interoperability continues to be in the wish list. Personal Health Records vendors such as Amrita Medical have come forward as they have the experience and expertise having implemented major EHR installations in large and medium sized hospitals. As with the technology that people use every day – telephone, email, Internet, mobile technology – interoperable health information exchange is not a "one-size-fits-all" solution. Each provider has a different use. The U.S ONC and the OST have laid down guidelines to drive standards towards interoperability, to list a few which have come to be seen as building blocks:

 meaning through the use of standardized healthcare vocabularies,
 structure by leveraging standards in HL7,
 transport using secure email protocols,
 security through National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST)-adopted encryption standards,
 security services through open, and accessible application programming interfaces (APIs).
In a roadmap prepared by the ONC interoperability is further defined as, "the ability of a system to exchange electronic health information with and use electronic health information from other systems without special effort on the part of the user." The roadmap also continues in stating that all individuals, their families, and health care providers should be able to send, receive, find and use electronic health information in a manner that is appropriate, secure, timely and reliable to support the health and wellness of individuals through informed, shared decision-making.