In a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), the eHealth Initiative (eHI) responded to the request for information on the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) governance. The organization said applauds ONC for issuing an RFI on NwHIN governance; it strongly recommends the government organization seek additional stakeholder input in the development of the framework for NwHIN governance. eHI also asked for ONC to develop a less regulatory approach to the framework for trusted data exchange.
In its letter to the ONC, eHI says that a clearer articulation of the problem to be solved is needed.“The proposed governance approach presumes a level of maturity of health information exchange that is not yet widespread. eHI recommends that ONC consider the existing landscape and develop a governance framework that addresses a clearly articulated challenge and the current state of the field,” Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI, said in the letter.
The group also called for greater coordination between ONC and the states and other stakeholders, a reconsideration of the scope of who is being governed by the NwHIN Governance, and leveraging existing experience and expertise in the development of HIE governance. The complete letter from eHI can be read here.
"ONC's proposed regulations could potentially hamper, not enhance, the growth and development of the health information exchange sector," Bordenick said. "Therefore, we strongly recommend that ONC take a step back, seek more input from additional stakeholders, and develop a revised approach that better supports the acceleration of trusted data exchange."