Bordenick says the hurdles in front of interoperability aren't necessarily technical.
"There are proprietary and competition issues where people don't want to share data with other organizations," she says. "While we are all focused on the patient there are a lot of concerns that competitors are going to use their data to their advantage. So competition is one barrier and the other is standards."
"We talk about standards all the time," she says, "but really requiring standards on some of these simple areas would be helpful because right now you have a lot of systems that are proprietary. You have vendors who don't necessarily want to interface with their competitors. So you have competition both with the groups with data, and completion just with connecting. There are all kinds of different politics involved here."
To her surprise, Bordenick says the survey also shows that many HIEs have not yet developed ways to allow patients to enter or view their own data in the health exchanges. As part of the federal EHR Meaningful Use Program, patient engagement is a critical step for providers looking to receive incentive payments for using EHRs.
This could change in future years, as 102 organizations reported that they have plans to offer patients access to their data. However, only 31 organizations currently offer patients access to their information. Even simple patient engagement services, like tools for managing appointments or prescriptions, are rare Bordenick says.