BulletImage Interoperability of Systems
Interoperability of systems is the level to which diverse systems can exchange and process information (data) without human intervention. For systems to be interoperable a common communication protocol needs to be established. The vocabulary used by one system should be understood by the other.ISO defines interoperability as: “The capability to communicate, execute programs, or transfer data among various functional units in a manner that requires the user to have little or no knowledge of the unique characteristics of those units”
BulletImage Healthcare Information Management Systems Interoperability
The 2006 White House executive order defines Interoperability as (section 2 paragraph c):”Interoperability” means the ability to communicate and exchange data accurately, effectively, securely, and consistently with different information technology systems, software applications, and networks in various settings, and exchange data such that clinical or operational purpose and meaning of the data are preserved and unaltered.

HL7 has categorized interoperability as:

BulletImage Technical Interoperability ensures that systems can send and receive data successfully. It defines the degree to which the information can be successfully “transported” between systems.
BulletImage Semantic Interoperability ensures that the information sent and received between systems is unaltered in its meaning. It is understood in exactly the same way by both the sender and receiver.
BulletImage Process Interoperability is the degree to which the integrity of workflow processes can be maintained between systems. This includes maintaining/conveying information such as user roles between systems.

As per the HL7 categorization, Semantic Interoperability requires/assumes Technical Interoperability and Process Interoperability requires/assumes both Technical and Semantic Interoperability.


HIMSS (Healthcare Information Management Systems Society) provides the following dimensions to the definition of Interoperability:

BulletImage Uniform movement of healthcare data
BulletImage Uniform presentation of data
BulletImage Uniform user controls
BulletImage Uniform safeguarding data security and integrity
BulletImage Uniform protection of patient confidentiality
BulletImage Uniform assurance of a common degree of system service quality

For more information on Interoperability, please visit the links in the following table.

White House Executive Order

BulletImage Press Release

Interoperability Definition

BulletImage Wikipedia
BulletImage Coming to terms
BulletImage HIMSS
BulletImage Interoperability Standards
Interoperability Standards define the vocabulary, protocols, presentation…etc features of Healthcare Information, in order to achieve interoperability between systems. Several standards bodies are in the process of developing (or have developed) interoperability standards for various types of information. Some of the latency in the general adoption of standardized communication has been due to the various competing standards developed by different standards bodies. There has been increasing amount of work to build bridges between the standards (translations). This is being done so that Healthcare messages/documents created in one standard can be translated into another without the loss of information integrity.For more information on Interoperability Standards, please visit the following links

HL7 (Health Level Seven)

BulletImage Version 2.x
BulletImage Clinical Context Management
BulletImage Arden Syntax
BulletImage Clinical Document Architecture

Other Standards Bodies

BulletImage HL7 List