We’re excited to talk with Interop Hero Jitin Asnaani from Bamboo Health to learn more about his views on interoperability in this ! Jitin leads strategy and corporate development for Bamboo Health and has been deeply involved with interoperability for more than the last decade. His career began in the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) where he worked on a number of interoperability initiatives. Once his term ended there, he began working with athenahealth for a number of years before helping to find and eventually lead CommonWell Health Alliance for five years. He then joined PatientPing which merged with Appriss Health to become Bamboo Health.

Bamboo Health is an organization that not only helps its users with interoperability, but also drives interoperability.

Bamboo Health “connects thousands of really diverse participants across the care continuum from behavioral health, home health, skilled nursing, hospice and  this really long tail of destinations for high vulnerability populations end up for their care and brings the data and insights from those locations into the places where care coordination and care collaboration can be achieved”.

As Jitin has transitioned from the government and non-profit sector to the private sector, his view on interoperability has certainly evolved. The initial problems that were faced involved which spigots needed to be opened in order for mass amounts of data transfer between organizations. Then it turned into the problem of figuring out the business incentives that exist and the ones that don’t exist to continue opening the data spigots. The instrumental change was when these spigots finally began opening.

“In the past couple of years, we finally saw data flowing in mass, when we look at DirectTrust numbers we’re not talking about a few hundred or a few thousand, we’re talking about millions or billions over aggregate periods of time, it’s amazing!”

Once this data began flowing new issues were found such as the quality of the data and the usefulness of the data coming from the source. However, companies downstream don’t really care about interoperability per se, they are concerned with having the right data, to make the right decision to improve their patient’s life and care. Because of this problem, there is a whole new lens to look at interoperability through to better serve those focused-on customer care.

“To summarize in a single line what the journey has been like, we went from making anything happen, to making the things which happen now more meaningful for end user care and while that’s my personal journey in terms of what I do day to day, I think it experience across the industry too.”

When looking back on how far we have come with interoperability, it used to be very expensive, close to tens of thousands of dollars for a single connection between sites. Since 2010, thanks to the work of this interoperability village, we are now at a place where it’s expected to be able to connect and share data with multiple sites and pay a nominal price for it. For Bamboo Health specifically they are looking at ways to improve care coordination but there are still multiple facets of interoperability to work on.

“It takes a handful of people to make this possible… people bring their passions to create this village in order to make all this progress.”

There is so much more we can do with interoperability! We will continue to see this village get larger as the years go by and as the people in these communities bring their vastly different strengths in order to work on this similar mission.

No matter who you are, you have an important role in interoperability that will help this industry move forward. It is going to be something we look back on with awe that this is a unique global platform we all built together.  Let’s keep working at it and don’t underestimate your role in creating this unique platform for future generations to come.

Thank you to Interop Hero Jitin Asnaani for sharing your wisdom and experience with us!

Learn more about the Interoperability Hero Initiative and check out our first class of Interoperability Heroes!

This post was contributed by Sierra Reese