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Health IT Groups Comment on ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap

April 3, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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Health IT groups are applauding the Office of the National Coordinator for various elements of its Interoperability Roadmap while offering specific changes for other parts.

The deadline to submit comments is April 3, 2015 and many groups have weighed in this week. The Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recommended ONC focus on six ideas. The organization says that ONC should temper down its three, six, and 10-year timelines for interoperability, because they are too aggressive. It also does not support the idea that individual consent should be required for use and disclosure of information if it’s not required under law. It also asks ONC to focus on data security and it applauded ONC for its person-centric view of healthcare.

Praise for the latter was also recognized by the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH), the alliance of multiple patient-centered nonprofit groups. The alliance specifically applauded ONC for emphasizing partnerships between patients—as well as their families and caregivers—and providers.

In its comments, the CPeH recommended ONC focus on ensuring that patients use their health information access, make health information available in non-English languages, and emphasize governance that that includes patients, families, and caregivers.

The Electronic Healthcare Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) naturally focused its comments on certification. They say that on top of accrediting to ensure products are interoperable, the ONC should determine best practices for other functions of products, such as ease of use, vendor support, and more. EHNAC also suggests streamline various accreditation programs.  

The roadmap, released in late January, aims to set the industry down a path of a complete interoperable system in 10 years. The ONC says achieving the interoperable ecosystem will require work in three areas: 1) Standards 2) Motivating the use of those standards through incentives and 3) Creating a trusted environment for collecting, sharing, and using electronic health information. This trusted environment, the ONC says, will mean that different stakeholders will have to be aligned.

Once all of the comments are collected, ONC will revise and present a second draft of the roadmap.




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