Interconnectivity is one of the most difficult aspects of the electronic highway – if you will. The difficulty lies in two separate areas. First, there are technological hurdles in having systems that have been engineered by different teams at different companies ‘speak’ with one another. This is in large part because of the languages that the different programs speak, as well as because of variations in database structures.
This is part of the reason why the somewhat simpler concept of EHR/Laboratory, EHR/Radiology, EHR/Pharmacy and EHR/Hospital interconnectivity remains rather complex.
There is: Walgreen Co (known as Walgreens – symbol WAG), CVS Caremark Corporation (knows as CVS or CVS/Pharmacy – symbol CVS), Rite Aid Corp (known as Rite Aid – symbol RAD) to name a few of the top pharmacies. Again, each individual EMR/EHR needs to interface with each of these three national companies, as well as the dozens of local pharmacies which may be present in each individual city.
For each of these interfaces there is no competition between the entities attempting the interface, and therefore, theoretically at least, there may be significantly more cooperation. However, as above, once you start asking EMR/EHR companies to interface with each other, not only are the technical hurdles enormous, but the business decisions needed to allow for such interfacing are sometimes at odds with the best interests of the shareholders of those corporations.