Interoperability refers to the ability of systems to interact with one another and exchange data according to a prescribed method in order to achieve predictable results. The immaturity and slow diffusion of standards for interoperability and data portability are key barriers to the integration and exchange of structured data among PHRs and the range of relevant entities that provide and finance health care. ISO TC 215 WG1 (Health Informatics) has published a technical report on personal health records and the need for standards. The report notes that growing interest around the world in PHRs and their potential standardization is driven by convergent interests among the consumer electronic industry, the established medical devices industry, health service providers and citizens . Several standards necessary for integrated PHRs are described below.
▪ Data Interchange Standards. The codification of data, the structure and format of messages, and the health care vocabularies that promote comparable and consistent information.
▪ Common Data Set/Minimum Data Set. A core data set to ensure that a minimum amount of data is available to consumers and providers for self-care and clinical encounters (e.g., patient and provider identification, insurance information, allergies, medications, vital signs, diagnoses, recent procedures). A default set of fields will likewise have implications for PHR developers, EHR developers, and custodians of professionally-sourced health data (e.g., health plans, pharmacy benefits managers, and retail pharmacies