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Health Data Interoperability

Electronic medical record concept..jpg

Project start date: November 2022
Project status: completed October 2023
Project sponsor: Alberta Innovates

All decisions in health care are predicated on the capture, exchange, and analysis of health data. The inability to move health data to where it is needed to support individual care, population and public health, research, management, and health innovation can negatively impact individuals, populations, and the health system. Since health care data is captured in manifold forms by a wide variety of technologies over many locations, the capacity to exchange health data efficiently and safely between these platforms is a core necessity of a high-functioning health care system. 

The ability to seamlessly share health data and information between health sector stakeholders, different solutions, and devices, in a form that allows for its meaningful use by all parties is called health data interoperability. The capacity to provide virtual care, and indeed many health services, is often dependent on health data interoperability. Although digital technology has empowered the rapid sharing of data across networks in many industries, achieving interoperability in the health sector has been frustratingly elusive, particularly in Canada; currently only one Canadian jurisdiction,  Ontario, has regulatory health data interoperability standards.  

Recognizing the foundational relationship between health data interoperability and virtual care, the Alberta Virtual Care Coordinating Body launched the Health Data Interoperability Working Group with a mandate to appraise the potential value that comprehensive health data interoperability offers to the optimization of quality virtual care.

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