Why Compatibility and Interoperability are Important in Healthcare

As practices move toward digital healthcare, those who are selecting between the bevy of digital options have a lot to think about. How will these systems work inside of the practice? Will this new system work with existing ones? Do we need new systems to work with our new, digital practice? These questions come down to whether systems have interoperability and compatibility. This article will outline the difference between the two and why each is important to having successful digital healthcare.

Compatibility in Healthcare

Compatibility, within the healthcare space, is the ability for different components to work together even though they are from different environments. Even though these components are not the same, they are compatible as long as they can both live inside a similar environment without causing the other to malfunction.  

Interoperability in Healthcare

Interoperability is defined as “the ability of different information systems, devices and applications to access, exchange, integrate and cooperatively use data in a coordinated manner”. System interoperability needs to stretch within your organization as well as geographically, to make sure that information can be shared in real-time. 

So, in a nutshell, compatibility is two different components working together from two different environments while interoperability is two different systems working together inside of the same environment. Why are they both needed for a successful digital healthcare system?

Why Interoperability and Compatibility are Needed in Healthcare

Compatibility allows systems that aren’t inherently designed to work together to play nicely. Think of your Outlook calendar being integrated within your telehealth so doctors and office staff can see what appointments are upcoming (a functionality Beam Health’s platform provides).

Interoperability allows systems to communicate information with one another in an accurate and meaningful manner. For example, if you want to take notes from your telehealth platform but want to make sure that the notes end up in your EHR, it’s important that your telehealth systems and your EHR have a shared interoperability. (This is also a functionality Beam Health provides).

In conclusion, it’s important that your digital healthcare systems have the bandwidth to be both compatible and interoperable. Having a system that can communicate outside of itself so it may share information but also allows integrations with other platforms is a key to success! To learn more about Beam’s platform and how it can be BOTH compatible and interoperable with your current systems so you can provide top-tier telehealth and digital care, schedule an appointment for a FREE DEMO here or visit our page here to learn more about how we can help you.