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HIMSS Issues “Call to Action” on Nationwide Interoperability

October 16, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has issued a “call to action” for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others to achieve nationwide interoperability.

In a document the health IT trade association created, it noted that while the industry has made great strides over the past generation, “seamless, secure, nationwide interoperable health information exchange continues to elude us.” It added, “HIMSS asserts that we must achieve secure, appropriate, and ubiquitous data access and electronic exchange of health information: Now is the time for bold action.”

Specifically, HIMSS published the “call to action,” with the aim to guide principles to inform health policy and spur the nation’s health sector to action. “We welcome all who share our commitment to join us in achieving better health through the best use of information and technology,” HIMSS stated. The association has called on HHS and the broader health information and technology community to demonstrate the following leadership:

Demand integration between the interoperability approaches and trusted exchange frameworks for the public good;

  • Educate the community to appropriately implement existing and emerging standards, data formats, and use cases to ensure a comprehensive, integrated approach to care;
  • Ensure stakeholder participation from across the care continuum, including patients and caregivers;
  • Identify the “minimum necessary” business rules for trusted exchange to enhance care coordination;
  • Standardize and adopt identity management approaches; and,
  • Improve usability for data use to support direct care and research

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