Today, a nursing practice largely relies on the use of systems and electronic records. Technological systems have enhanced the provision of care as professionals are capable of collecting, storing, and processing patient data promptly. For example, health workers are able to capture and manage a patient’s data regarding diagnosis, medication, and care intervention. Interoperability in healthcare refers to the ability of various information technologies to exchange, interpret, and use data seamlessly. Interoperability addresses the diverse needs of health workers and nurses to improve healthcare efficiency.
Interoperability is a characteristic of information systems whose interfaces are completely understood and systems can communicate without any restrictions. Per Samal et al. (2016), interoperability is the capability of a nursing information system to allow concurrent access details a client across different modules. Moreover, interoperability is a feature allowing automatic access and interpretation of information exchanged accurately to yield desired results. In other words, interoperability means that if a patient or a nurse is expecting information from multiple sources, and the information is received, and it makes sense, then a solution is provided.
The interoperability of nursing information systems plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of care. Patients access to care from different clinics, independent institutions, and hospitals. The information capture on these different settings related to medical history, past symptoms, allergies, and complications. As such, lacking access to the numerous data of patients contained in the multiple sources is dangerous and may inconvenience a patient. The interoperability capability of the system enhances the provision of comprehensive care because the information contained in these sources is visible benefiting both the patients and medical professionals in decision-making Samal et al. (2016). Consequently, interoperability impacts positively on nursing practice. It enhances the efficiency and ability of health workers to make accurate decisions concerning a patient’s condition through the use of comprehensive data collected from multiple databases. Efficient service delivery also increases the productivity of workers.
Indeed, interoperability allows different systems to work together in their original state. Nursing work is simplified if systems can communicate and send data seamlessly to support decision-making using accurate and reliable data.
Samal, L., Dykes, P., Greenberg, J., Hasan, O., Venkatesh, A., Volk, L. & Bates, D. (2016). Care coordination gaps due to lack of interoperability in the United States: a qualitative study and literature review. BMC Health Services Research, 16, 143-145.