Why Interoperability Matters Beyond Healthcare

When you hear the word interoperability, you probably most commonly associate it with healthcare. In fact, when you google interoperability, it quotes healthcare’s definition – ‘the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data and use the information that has been exchanged’. Interoperability is important in healthcare because it helps to improve care delivery, and it reduces duplication and cost. These improvements are crucial because without the smooth flow of information through the maze of complex healthcare systems, we risk the care quality and the effects it would have on our lives.

A perfect example of a good interoperable system is the financial system that provides debit and credit cards used across the world. When you take a deeper look at what makes the debit/credit systems so scalable, it is the plug and play aspect that allows a two-way communication of information exchange. This, combined with the standard rules industry players abide by, means the customers get the benefit of ease of use and up-to-date accessible information. These standards have further allowed innovative apps like Venmo to enter and change the way people manage money. That is the power of an interoperable system!

Another day-to-day example of interoperability is the browsers we use. In a recent study, Google Chrome stood out for interoperability as you can use it on multiple devices and sync bookmarks and other information across apps. This functionality makes it a good choice for people who use multiple tools as there is a reduction in the amount of time spent in looking up information. As you can see, interoperability is not just a demand for industries like finance and healthcare but one that any organization would want in order to excel in their industry, have seamless access to other systems and further optimize the return on their technology investment.

So as an HR department, what can interoperability do for you?

4 benefits of an interoperable HR system

Communicate with many systems and devices

This means being able to clock time into an interface, which gets updated in your payroll database so you can accurately pay your employees. The data can then be viewed on any device, resulting in fewer information requests for you and a decreased need for duplication of effort to get that information synced in various places.

Data exchange

An interoperable HR system can let you upload a job requisition online, then allow the applicant’s information to directly flow in to your employee database. This will keep track of the skills required and when the need arises, transfer them to full time employee status and put them on training courses by looking up their record and easily seeing their progress.

Streamline processes

The main advantage of being able to get all of your data in one place is it allows you to view the gaps in your current processes and make changes to your workflows, which will help your business run smoother.


When you can tap into the ability to have easy integrations with other applications without losing data, scaling to include other systems becomes easy. Many organizations use in-house developments and as their systems don’t talk to each other, this becomes a lengthy, costly undertaking. However, having interoperable systems means you are not constrained to a few choices.

Communication is the key to a successful business endeavor, but it is not just for people, it is for systems too. Interoperability helps to get your systems talking and improves the communication that is so important to your organization.



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