The Untapped Potential of Health Care APIs


Their success in meeting meaningful use requirements affects the level of Medicare reimbursement that they receive. Among other objectives, meaningful use includes the requirement that providers enable their patients to (1) view, (2) download, and (3) transmit their health data to a third party (known as the “VDT” requirement). The most-recent meaningful use regulations — the widespread implementation of which is currently due to occur in 2018 — add a fourth requirement that patients be able to access their health information through an API via the application of their choice. This new functionality would not only enable EHR systems to share data with patients but would also help to create system-wide interoperability between different providers and EHR systems.

For patients and their caregivers, the benefits of interoperability and easier access to data via APIs are obvious. Today, patients often have to deal with a different patient portal for each provider they visit. Open APIs wi

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