In a statement, Robert M. Wah, M.D., the President of the American Medical Association (AMA) expressed concern over the recent departures of the top two people at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
The departures of Karen DeSalvo, M.D., and Jacob Reider, M.D. from the ONC, Wah said, "leaves a significant leadership gap which could jeopardize the growing momentum around interoperability."
"Interoperability and data portability are critical components for transforming clinical practice and improving health outcomes. Evidence of that connection can be found in the Administration's new Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, which supports coordinated care and collaboration among physicians that require high-performing technological systems," Wah said. "Unfortunately, physicians have been facing challenges with several poor performing electronic health records (EHRs) that are not interoperable. Without widespread interoperability, the value proposition of EHRs has not been realized and the adoption of new innovative models of care has been hindered."
The AMA recently made recommendations to the ONC for Stage 3 of meaningful use. The advocacy group is looking for a more flexible approach for meeting meaningful use by removing the “all or nothing” threshold; better alignment of quality measure requirements with the physician quality reporting system (PQRS); ensuring quality measures and clinical decision support within the program are evidence-based; and restructuring EHR certification to focus on interoperability.