Why Interoperability is Hard
The term interoperability means different things to different people. For example, the HIMSS Dictionary of Healthcare Information Technology Terms, Acronyms and Organizations lists 17 definitions, from the strictly technical factor to social, political, and organizational factors (HIMSS 2006).
A widely used definition is: Interoperability is ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 1990) The HL7 EHR Interoperability Work Group has developed a framework, which covers three different points of view (Gibbons et al. 2007): Technical interoperability Semantic interoperability Process interoperability These concepts are interdependent, and all three are needed to deliver significant business benefits.