How Do We Move the Ball Forward on Achieving Interoperability?


On June 23, 2014, AEGIS was invited by Janet M. Marchibroda, Director, Health Innovation Initiative and Executive Director, CEO Council on Health and Innovation to participate in a roundtable discussion on Advancing Interoperability and Electronic Information Sharing To Support Improvements in Health and Health Care. Other distinguished participants included organizations such as the American Medical Informatics Association, Allscripts, Siemens, Surescripts, IBM, United Health Group, and CHIME among many others.

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) areas of focus for the roundtable included:

  • Advancing an information foundation for improving health and health care
  • Engaging consumers to improve quality, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience of care
  • Advancing innovation through personalized and genomic medicine.
  • Engaging employers in innovative actions that will improve health and wellness and the quality and cost-effectiveness of care
  • Assuring patient safety in health IT, while preserving an environment that fosters the innovation for a rapidly changing health care system

AEGIS provided our industry insight on the following topics of discussion:

  • Assessment of the Landscape
  • Policy-Related Approaches for Addressing Gaps
  • Emerging Approaches for Addressing Interoperability and Information Sharing
  • Exploring Information Gaps and Next Steps

AEGIS was asked to assist in formulating BPC’s detailed approach and response on advancing interoperability and information sharing to support improvements in health and health care. We provided valuable insight into the BPC’s focus on Interoperability and electronic information sharing playing a critical and foundational role in delivery system and payment reforms. We provided additional value to these discussions by including a unified approach to the adoption of a single definition of interoperability to be accepted and used by industry. In addition – AEGIS identified the lack of specific standards that should be adopted. Some proposed approaches for BPC that were incorporated in these discussions included:

  • Supporting an Automated Platform for Test Case Execution
  • Documenting Best Practices for Audits and Work Flow Lifecycle of Testing
  • Supporting an Environment for Re-Use of Testing Tools/Test Cases
  • Promoting Beyond “Happy Path” (peer-to-peer) testing and ensuring Negative Testing
  • Promoting Industry Reporting Metrics on how well their products and services ensure interoperability and not vendor lock-in.

We look forward to continuing this dialog through the BPC!


About Barry Dickman

Mr. Dickman is an accomplished Executive Consultant with 25+ years as an accomplished industry thought leader with experience in Health Information Technology, Program & Project Management Support, Standards & Interoperability, Enterprise Architecture, Business Development, Strategic/Business Planning, Client Relationship Building, Acquisition Management, Software Development and Requirements Management. He is a hands-on cross-functional leader who energizes and managed the successful delivery of consulting services and information technology solutions to the Federal and commercial markets.

Mr. Dickman is responsible for tactical implementation and quality assurance of solutions and services. He supports various activities and communities of interest with senior-level consulting services with the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Health Agency (DHA), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Health & Human Services (HHS) on health information technology initiatives, including the electronic health record and health information exchange. He helps to ensure that projects & staff adhere to a process improvement approaches embodying the AEGIS CMMI-appraised process methodology ultimately providing clients with the essential elements of effective processes that improve their performance. As an effective communicator and leader, Mr. Dickman consistently demonstrates his ability to institute and carry out initiatives that drive positive change, improve efficiency and increased profitability. He brings extensive experience, functional knowledge and management skills to all consulting assignments.

Prior to joining AEGIS, Mr. Dickman held senior level positions helping to create business solutions that help meet the healthcare industry’s top challenges. Mr. Dickman has authored numerous papers, articles, newsletters and blogs. He graduated from the University of Maryland holds a Masters in Health Services Administration Masters of Health Services Administration from The George Washington University, School of Business and Public Management. Mr. Dickman currently serves at the President of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) – National Capital Area (NCA) Chapter.

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