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Hyland Healthcare and HIMSS Media publish 2020 Connected Care and the State of Interoperability in Healthcare study results

Gaps in managing unstructured data remain a major challenge in achieving interoperability goals

Hyland Healthcare recently partnered with HIMSS Media to survey leaders from healthcare provider organizations on their current interoperability initiatives for its second annual Connected Care and the State of Interoperability study. The results are published in a whitepaper titled Connected Healthcare: Interoperability Progress and Challenges Ahead and an infographic titled Breaking Down Healthcare’s Interoperability Gaps.

The study indicates year-over-year improvement in healthcare providers achieving their top interoperability goals. However, several obstacles to improving interoperability were also identified, including the management of unstructured data and content. Survey respondents indicated that 73 percent of unstructured patient data remains inaccessible for analysis, leaving a significant gap in health information.

Key results from 2020 Connected Care and the State of Interoperability in Healthcare include:

Year-over-year improvements to top interoperability goals:

  • Organizations’ ability to effectively tackle improvements in patient satisfaction increased from 45 percent to 63 percent
  • 86 percent of respondents stated they are better able to meet regulatory compliance requirements
  • The ability to maximize the value from the EMR investment grew by 23 percent (from 31 percent in 2019 to 54 percent in this year’s study)

Challenges to achieving interoperability goals:

  • More than half of survey respondents stated the major obstacles to improved interoperability is the ability to keep pace with patient expectations
  • The most significant obstacles to improving interoperability include: Integration (59 percent); Adoption (58 percent); Consumerism (55 percent); Managing unstructured data/content (53 percent); and Managing Multiple EMRs (48 percent)
  • On average, 73 percent of unstructured patient data is still unavailable for analysis.
  • The ability to consistently share picture and archiving communication system (PACS) images

“Healthcare interoperability has never been more important than it is today,” said Colleen Sirhal, chief clinical officer for Hyland Healthcare. “Providers, patients and public health officials need all-encompassing data to better understand the still-evolving coronavirus and inform guidelines and treatment. The more we focus on breaking down the barriers to sharing key health information with varied clinical stakeholders, the better prepared we’ll be to ensure the best public health outcomes.”

Another major gap uncovered by the research was the ability to consistently share PACS images. Ninety percent of respondents agreed that access to images at the point of care is important; however, 18 percent of imaging data is captured offline and not integrated with core clinical systems. Additionally, only 11 percent of respondents connect with a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) for digital imaging and communications (DICOM) and non-DICOM images.

The lingering problems with integrating unstructured patient content is concerning, particularly with the evolution to a value-based care practice. Healthcare providers increasingly need a structured way to see all patient information to know the appropriate tests were ordered, administered and ultimately assess the results. This helps save money by not ordering duplicate tests, but also improves patient satisfaction.

For more information about Hyland’s interoperability initiatives visit


About Hyland

Hyland is a leading content services provider that enables thousands of organizations to deliver better experiences to the people they serve. Find us at

About Hyland Healthcare

Hyland Healthcare provides connected healthcare solutions that harness unstructured content at all corners of the enterprise and link it to core clinical and business applications such as electronic medical records (EMR) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Hyland Healthcare offers a full suite of content services and enterprise imaging tools, bringing documents, medical images and other clinically rich data to the healthcare stakeholders that need it most. This comprehensive view of patient information accelerates business processes, streamlines clinical workflows and improves clinical decision making. For more information, visit