A Rural Hospitals Make Gains in Interoperability

 According to a new report, interoperability – the ability of healthcare providers to exchange electronic health information – continues to improve among hospitals. As of 2021, 88 percent of hospitals engaged in sending and obtaining patient health information electronically.  The rate of availability of outside information at the point of care grew over 20 percent in 2021 reaching 62 percent nationwide.  For rural and small hospitals the rate grew by more than 26 percent, reaching a rate of 48 percent.  Additionally, usage of information received electronically from outside sources by rural and small hospitals increased at twice the rate of hospitals nationally (over 40% vs. over 20%) between 2017 and 2021. The report concludes these less-resourced hospitals are still not on par with their counterparts, indicating the need to continue addressing challenges with having full access to electronic information from external sources.