As we all know, everybody going towards interoperability and assumption is that golden day will come where you go any physician office or hospital and your data is available once you provide identification. The day is not far, but to reach there everyone has to have some standards about transportation, Document standards and some kind of codification of data. So we are seeing some standardization around the Document with CCD, CCR and possibly some IHE standards around it. There is also some standards going on with XDS in sense from Document Sharing.
So question comes, after all these why it is difficult to have discrete data transfer... the issue is Codification of data. Now mind well, it is not that vendors don't do that with their product but all of them have coding standards which don't talk to each other or lacking some mapping to standardized coding system. For example, Medications; I don't believe vendors don't have the medication data codified but problem is mapping of that codified data to more standardization like RxNorm. So the push is to go towards that from Govt. through ARRA initiatives but I think there has to be some push or fire in the belly of the clinical data provider to get that mapping done so more standardized data possibility in market.
Another glitch in achieving this goal, is flexibility in programs again, don't take it that I am saying being flexible is wrong but allowing user defined data in Clinical data would create a data where there will be data with not codes attached or mapping. So how would you achieve this, I would again go back to data providers to have data upto date so no user defined entry needed. And from vendor side, only allow that if there is possibility to map it to some standard code while adding that entry.
Again, Codified Data is necessity in Discrete Data exchange through integration, that integration my be HIE, RHIO or internal Product integration...
Food for thought !!! is to how to attain this with already existing clients with free entry data without codification !!!